It was labored at times, but Liverpool did the job at home against a robust Burnley, winning 4-2 to stay within a point of Manchester City in the title race. Jürgen Klopp’s side had come into the game knowing that another one of the goalless draws that had plagued the Reds of late simply would not do following City pulling four points ahead in the table a day prior.
The game started controversially poor, with the Clarets going ahead early after appearing to foul goalkeeper Alisson. Thankfully for the Reds a pair of braces Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané secured the points and kept the chasers in touch with the reigning champions.
A key moment came in the first half with the score tied 1-1 and the Anfield crowd still a bundle of nerves. Surprise starter, Adam Lallana displayed his trademark high-energy pressing to close down a Burnley player right outside their own box, with the ball ricocheting from the tackle and eventually sitting up for Mané to curl first time into the top corner.
It was the highlight of an all-around solid performance from Lallana, with the ex-Southampton man showing flashes of his peak 2016-17 form as the most advanced midfielder. Riddled by injuries since that time, the man himself was pleased to have contributed to the victory:
“It’s been a difficult 18 months, two years for me with injuries but hopefully that’s behind me now,” Lallana said in his post-match interview “I just want to keep working hard and hopefully contribute to what will be an exciting end to the season.
“I thought we showed great character going 1-0 down. It’s never easy and sometimes the fans get apprehensive,” he continued after being named Man of the Match.
“Burnley made it very difficult for us and obviously got an early goal. Not sure if there was a foul on the keeper [since] I’ve not seen it back yet. But we knew we had to concentrate on ourselves and win games.
“Obviously [Manchester] City won yesterday so it was our job today to put in a professional performance.”
Seemingly the forgotten man in the squad, this Liverpool side will need every contribution they can get as the margin for error in the Premier League title race narrows ever further.
Eight games remaining and all to play for. It wouldn’t be fun if there wasn’t a little drama.