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Liverpool 2, Burnley 0: First Thoughts

Free-flowing Liverpool beat Burnley with ease.

Michael Steele/Getty Images

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Liverpool 2 Henderson 29', Sturridge 51'
Burnley 0

  • Pre-match thoughts: Brendan Rodgers picked a strong starting eleven with Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling, and Adam Lallana all involved. Without Jordon Ibe or Lazar Markovic, there were some questions about who would play the right wing back position, with the logical choice seeming to be either Lallana or Sterling.

  • Liverpool came very close to scoring just 25 seconds into the match. After a complex bit of interplay around the Burnley area, Sturridge hit a near post shot that was barely tipped wide for a corner.

  • There was lots of fluidity from Liverpool's counter attack in the early going, with the ball pinging around quickly and Burnley left on the back foot.

  • Burnley survived Liverpool's initial push over the first ten minutes, and the game settled down a bit. However, Liverpool still looked dangerous whenever they gained possession.
  • Sterling was the player occupying the right wing back role, and he seemed to flit in and out of the first part of the game in his wide position.
  • In the 24th minute, Henderson hit a first time effort from just outside the box that was pushed wide for yet another Liverpool corner.
  • Henderson! A gorgeous half-volley screamed into the net to put Liverpool 1-0 up! Coutinho went on a winding run into the box, and his blocked shot bounced in front of Henderson who made no mistake with his finish.
  • Sturridge was put clear through on goal by Coutinho but his shot was saved by goalkeeper Tom Heaton. It was a great run by Sturridge, but one would have expected him to do better with his finish.
  • Halftime thoughts: Overall, it was a great first half for the Reds. They only scored one but could have easily had two or three, and were in total control throughout. With both Manchester United and Arsenal locked in ties, it looked very possible that Liverpool could at least draw even with a top four position by the end of the day.
  • Liverpool started the second half in the same manner that they began the first, but this time the positive play resulted in a goal. It was Sturridge who put the Reds 2-0 ahead, as he headed a Henderson cross past Heaton to the near post.
  • Burnley worked hard to sneak back into the game, but the Liverpool defense held strong during a period of sustained possession.
  • Kolo Toure replaced Alberto Moreno amid a lull in an otherwise fast-paced match.
  • Liverpool showed a high level of energy even in the final ten minutes of the match.
  • Full-time thoughts: This was a strong team performance for Liverpool. Henderson was the star man with a goal and an assist, but most of the squad contributed to the win. Sterling did well in the right wing back position, and Skrtel anchored the defense well.

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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.

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