The victory over Burnley was Liverpool’s second 2-1 win in a row after beating Leicester City by the same scoreline a scant 48 hours ago. However, the New Year’s Day clash had a completely different tenor than the weekend fixture, with the game, in large part, as dreary as the rain-soaked Turf Moor, before ending in a rash of drama.
A worldie opener from Sadio Mané, a devastating late concession to the Clarets before a last-gasp, stoppage time winner from the combination of Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan was the difference this time, as Liverpool displayed another sort of resilience than in the come-from-behind behind win over the Foxes.
"[It was a] very difficult game,” Jürgen Klopp admitted in his post-match interview. “The fixtures are really difficult to take. We did brilliant, the weather made it so hard, windy, rainy.
"Burnley are doing well, we denied them to do what they usually like to do. It took a while to score and then the next two goals were very similar.
"Did we deserve to win? I don't care. We got the three points.”
The short turnaround between the final two games of the festive period led to large scale changes from the German, with the likes of Dominic Solanke and Adam Lallana headlining seven new faces on the team sheet. Choosing to sit Mohamed Salah, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino for reasons ranging from rest to annoying transfer speculation, the heavily-rotated side repaid the Liverpool manager for his faith:
"I like rotation,” Klopp—who has made more changes in the league this season than any other manager—adamantly continued. “I love the quality of my squad and I am really pleased. It was not fantastic football, but it was a fantastic attitude.
"Today it wasn't possible to play brilliantly but it was an open game, we had a massive setback with the equalizer but we changed it again—we haven't done that too often this year."
Four wins and three draws in just over three weeks sees the Reds make it into the New Year level with Manchester United on points, pending the result of the late game, and having stretched their unbeaten run to a Klopp era record of 16 games.