It feels like old times today. Liverpool run out some major 2019 vibes today with their line-up.
However starting a seasoned, more physical line-up makes sense at Burnley, who almost always seem to injure a Liverpool player. Not helping today is it’s cold and rainy at Turf Moor.
Mo Salah and Sadio Mane are back though. No Diogo Jota or Luis Diaz. Or Thiago or Harvey Elliott for that matter.
Can the Reds keep pace with Manchester City for the Premier League title race?
Despite losing the xG battle for the first 40 minutes, Liverpool go into the half with a 1-0 lead thanks to an aggressive Fabinho run in off an Andy Robertson corner. Reds need a better second half performance if they want to walk away with 3 points today.
Second half feels like the 2019-20 version of Liverpool where we just clamp down once securing a lead. Not the Reds’ overall best performance but Burnley has given us fits. Three points and no injuries makes it a very good day. Liverpool 1, Burnley 0.
Here are Liverpool player ratings at Burnley.
Liverpool Player Ratings at Burnley
Jurgen Klopp () –
2019 called and they want their line-up back, Klopp!
An old-school line-up meant to handle Burnley’s physicality. Wise. Subs are fine. Upped the intensity a little after half.
Alisson (8) –
Shaky early. Comes out to head a crashing threat but almost creates a good opportunity for Burnley in the process. Heads another threat away in the 18th minute. Another great save in the 28th minute. Fancy footwork in the 34th outside the box keeps yet another Burnley counter at bay. Another insane save just a minute later to keep it level (though Burnley was whistled offside after the fact).
Alert save in the 64th, quickly resetting himself after a shot deflects off VVD. In all, 5 saves and 95% pass accuracy. Would’ve dropped points if not for Ali today.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (6) –
Alert track back and clearance in the 22nd minute saves a goal on a Burnley counter. Perfect set piece delivery in the 29th almost gets Mane the opener. Work rate high, tracking back well. But overall a quiet day.
Virgil van Dijk (7) –
Calmly swatting away some early threats. Looking more and more like his 2018-19 self.
Joel Matip (7) –
Not a lot of patented Matip dribbles today, but was solid defensively.
Andy Robertson (7.5) –
Delivery is on point early on. Misses a darting Salah with a wonderful cross and perfect delivery on a corner within the first 10 minutes. Doesn’t get credit for the assist on Fab’s opener, which is a shame because his delivery is laser perfect today.
Naby Keita (6.5) –
Well. Great newsletter this week by Grace Robertson on how analytics might’ve gotten Keita wrong. Sums up the hope around Keita and his actual reality since joining Liverpool.
Real proper strike in the 21st minute almost puts Liverpool up. Stays active throughout. Lots of possession (over 7%). Decent showing for him.
Jordan Henderson (6) –
Barking and prodding Liverpool to get their collective shit together early. Awesome ball in to Mane in the 19th that just misses. Hurts himself with a somewhat reckless challenge in the 25th.
Subbed off in the 60th for Thiago. Uneven display today, some good creative moments but only completed 50% of his passes.
Fabinho (8) –
ALL FABINHO DOES IS SCORE GOALS.
An alert and aggressive run in off Robbo’s 40th minute corner puts Liverpool up 1-0. Anchors himself defensively in the second half. Three shots today and some great link-up play.
Mo Salah (6) –
Pretty quiet in the first half. Can’t seem to get anything going.
Same deal in second half. Strong on ball though. Stays on his feet after a challenge and almost sets up Jota late in the match.
Looks like he needed a little rest after AFCON though.
Roberto Firmino (6) –
Gets another start, and in place of the white hot Jota. Doesn’t do much with it during the first half. His role is more about facilitating than Jota, but against a packed in Burnley, nothing is happening.
Sadio Mane (6) –
Welcome back, AFCON champ Mane! Just misses some early first half chances, including a close range one off a TAA set piece in the 29th. Sloppy in the 44th with a pass into Salah – should’ve created a real chance there.
Subbed off in the 67th minute for Jota. Three shots, a couple of completed dribbles but needed to be more clinical in his finishing.
Thiago (6) – On in the 60th minute for Hendo.
Diogo Jota (6) – On in the 67th minute for Mane. We look more threatening almost immediately but nothing to show for it today.
James Milner (NR) – Time killing stoppage sub for Keita.
MAN OF THE MATCH
We would’ve dropped points today if not for Alisson. He’s our Man of the Match.