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Burnley 0, Liverpool 1: First Thoughts

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In the first match of three in quick succession, Liverpool emerged victorious at Turf Moor with an unconvincing performance.

Pay up.
Pay up.
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

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Burnley 0
Liverpool 1 Sterling 62'

  • Liverpool continued with the same formation of recovery that brought improved performances against Manchester United, Bournemouth, and Arsenal. While the results weren't wholly satisfactory, this Liverpool side appeared familiar as chances were created with movement and speed while defensive mistakes undermined good work further up the field. Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged line-up and Sheyi Ojo was a surprise figure on the bench. Mario Balotelli returned to the squad after his injury and benevolent ban.

  • The first fifteen minutes were fairly open with Liverpool finding some space on the counter and Burnley enjoying space in front of Liverpool's defenders. Martin Skrtel's error allowed Danny Ings to shoot and the Burnley striker hit the post. Brad Jones suffered a thigh injury during that passage of play and Simon Mignolet's exile was ended. He got himself into some trouble in possession 

  • Burnley hitting the woodwork signalled a change in the game as the home side was mostly dominant from then. Apart from Adam Lallana's saved shot from a counter was the only joy Liverpool as the home side created enough chances to lead by half-time. Liverpool's response to Burnley's attacks was to quickly give the ball away whenever possession was regained so that the relegation battlers could build another attack.

  • Brendan Rodgers was probably thankful that Liverpool could start the second half on level terms with Burnley and with Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, and Southampton all winning, he needed to make changes to ensure that Liverpool wouldn't fall further behind the teams ahead of them. Liverpool seemed slow and deep in midfield and Burnley regularly exposed the visitors on the flanks. The hallowed intensity that seemed to return to the side was absent and a repeat of the first half would only bring defeat for the away side.

  • Emre Can replaced Kolo Touré at half time as Rodgers sought to gain more control of the game in midfield played Can as a right-sided centre back. Liverpool's defensive line was horribly deep to start the second half and Burnley set up as the side higher in the league table with a more aggressive defensive line along that was accompanied by snappier passing from back to front.

  • Philippe Coutinho's vision combined with Raheem Sterling's run and finish to give Liverpool an undeserved lead. The finish from the youngster belonged to a seasoned striker and it's difficult to see any other striker apart from Sturridge being able to capitalise from Coutinho's work in the way Sterling did.

  • Burnley pushed to find an equaliser but weren't as dangerous as they were in the first half. Liverpool had a couple of opportunities on the counter attack but elected to stay somewhat deep, fearing to cede what little was gained from going ahead.

  • Liverpool needed the three points and it was good to see Emre Can impress from the bench. Raheem Sterling continues to show how vital he is and perhaps the paymasters may need to take note that he was recognised as Europe's top youngster for a reason. Three points from three and on to Swansea City.

liverpool blog fc sbn

We'll be back shortly to take an in-depth look at everything that happened in today's game with the full recap. Until then, let us know your take on the ups and downs of the match in the comments, and if you haven't already, join the community on the Liverpool Offside, where we'll have full coverage and lively in-game discussion for every match this season.