Liverpool FC had not lost a game after taking a lead since January 24, 2021, and that streak has continued through this weekend, though it wasn’t pretty.
The Reds traveled to a wet and windy Turf Moor to face relegation-threatened Burnley on Sunday, featuring the return of both Sadio Mane and Mohammed Salah to the starting XI following the conclusion of AFCON last week.
For nearly the entirety of the first half, the Reds made Burnley look like a top competitor rather than a team sitting at the absolute bottom of the table. With no midfield control or momentum on the side of the Reds, Burnley was gifted a number of threatening opportunities that saw Alisson rack up three crucial saves and two clearances before the halftime whistle. It seems the Reds can never find a healthy medium between having Alisson take a nap in net or needing him to completely bail them out – luckily for Liverpool, he was up to the latter task on Sunday.
About forty minutes in, Fabinho broke through for Liverpool to open the scoring, with Mane assisting off a corner kick dropped down into the Burnley box. The Reds entered the second half up 1-nil by virtue of Alisson heroics and their opponents wasting chances.
Liverpool battled to grab a second well into the latter half, with Burnley still finding a number of opportunities to break into Red’s territory. Starting the day trailing Manchester City by 12 points in the Premier League table, it is crucial that Liverpool not drop a single point.
Reds fans were deprived of the relief of a second goal, but Liverpool held on to their weak one goal lead until the final whistle, cutting their deficit in the table to single digits, now nine points behind Man City.
Liverpool will look to add to their four-game winning streak in the Premier League when they host Norwich City on Saturday following a midweek Champions League fixture.
Alisson – 9 (Man of the Match)
Another match, another man of the match performance from the keeper. With his squad ahead of him failing to get any sort of solid possession in the first half, Alisson had to shift into hero mode early. Even in the horrendous weather conditions at Turf Moor, Alisson was dominant in collecting the ball and clearing a number of Burnley threats, even if it meant coming way out of the box to get the job done. Alisson finished the game with five crucial saves and two clearances to secure the clean sheet.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 6
Alexander-Arnold had a number of sloppy passes early on Sunday, no doubt hindered at least slightly by the wind and rain. He finished with an uncharacteristically low 69% pass accuracy and was dispossessed twice, however he did drop in a beautiful corner kick to Mane to set up the opener.
Joel Matip – 8
In his 150th appearance for the club, Matip had a tremendous defensive game. Because of the midfield sloppiness and lack of control from Liverpool, there was not much in the way of offensive pushes from Matip (or the backline in general), but he was massive on the backline with five clearances, a few just in front of the Liverpool net, and one interception.
Virgil van Dijk – 7
Van Dijk was the strongest defensive force the Reds had during their numerous sloppy moments on Sunday. He helped catch Burnley offsides a handful of times (even if the flags were majorly delayed going up). The Dutchman was crucial in settling down the game when Liverpool was struggling to get any control of the midfield.
Andy Robertson – 7
Robertson seemed to be the only one not made completely uncomfortable by the conditions at Turf Moor, leading the Reds with 69 completed passes and two chances created in his 55th clean sheet in the Premier League.