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Burnley 0, Liverpool 3 - Match Recap: Reds Back In The Top 4

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It was hard graft, but a few unlikely goal scorers fired Liverpool back into the Champions League spots.

Burnley v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Burnley 0 - 3 Liverpool

Fightin’ Dyches: N/A
Mighty Reds: Firmino 43’, Phillips 52’, Oxlade-Chamberlain 89’

Pre-Match

How you feelin’, Reds? Chelsea and Leicester didn’t exactly help our cause last night, but we still have things in our own hands. As much as a 5-0 win for the Reds would all put our minds at ease, at least in the short term, the most important number for tonight is 3 points. The Reds need six points from the next two, and that’s obviously impossible without a win tonight.

Sean Dyche would love nothing more than to throw a wrench into the works, derailing Liverpool’s season in the process. However, he’ll be without goalkeeper Nick Pope, which would normally be a disadvantage. But he’s playing Liverpool, and all Liverpool supporters should instinctively expect about 15 top-shelf saves from the Premier League debutante.

First Half

Liverpool open Burnley up twice in the first three minutes, but Mohamed Salah and then Sadio Mané cannot make clean contact on their efforts. Either way, it bodes well for the Reds tonight.

After the opening few minutes, Burnley have really come into the match, and in a way that should worry Liverpool fans. While they haven’t created a huge chance yet, Liverpool are looking nervy out of possession, and struggling to play through the lines in possession.

Sadio very nearly creates the assist of the season, with a NSFW backheel chip into Roberto Firmino’s path. Sadly, Bobby cannot turn the shot on target.

Burnley really should be leading after a massive chance from Chris Wood. As has been the case with our makeshift backline, the opposition created a big chance playing some basic Route 1 football. All teams have to ride their luck at times, but that’s especially the case with this pairing.

Another pair of spurned chances for the Reds as we near the half-hour mark. First Thiago flashes a shot just wide of the target, then a moment later Salah balloons a 1-v-1 well over the cross bar.

GOAL! Roberto Firmino makes it 1-0 right before the half, and wouldn’t you know it, with our first shot on target. Andy Robertson makes a well-timed run, and puts his cut-back pass into a perfect area for the Brazilian striker to run onto and slot first time.

It took 13 shots and 3 big chances to get a single effort on target, but at least Bobby made that one count. I think we’d all feel better with a second one in short order on the other side of the break. And maybe a third just to be super, duper, extra sure. But anyway, it’s good enough for now.

Second Half

Instead of starting fast, Liverpool give up a shot on target within the opening few seconds, and a couple of corners immediately thereafter. Not ideal, but thankfully nothing came of it.

NAT PHILLIPS SCORED A GOAL FOR LIVERPOOL!!! Following a short corner for Liverpool, Mané picked it up on the wing, dribbled it into the box, and picked out Big Nat at the back post to head home. 2-0 to the Scousers!

The match has gone a bit dead in the ten minutes since the second goal, which from a Liverpool perspective is A-OK.

It really has to be said that Liverpool’s center backs, especially Rhys Williams are having a torrid time of things. Dyche’s grocks are giving them hell and it will be a small miracle if we get out of here with a clean sheet. And as I type that, Phillips clears one off the line. As I said, it’s been a struggle!

After 80 minutes gone, Klopp makes his first change, bringing on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for Bobby. A few minutes later, James Milner comes on for Gini Wijnaldum. Liverpool are firmly in “let’s see this thing out” territory, and if they can see it out with this scoreline, it’s a hell of a result.

GOAL! And Ox grabs one! Also from a short corner routine! What is this life?!

And then Klopp runs out the Tsimikas victory cigar. LOLZ. Mané makes way.

Final Thoughts

The scoreline flatters Liverpool. It was hard going for most of the night, but unlike so many performances this season, the Reds were simply better in both boxes and took enough chances to make it count.

The defensive partner ship of Williams and Phillips was especially impressive, not because it was easy going, but because it wasn’t. They bent but didn’t break, and managed to earn a much needed clean sheet.

Concerning the wider picture, 3-0 is the kind of result that should put Liverpool in the Top 4 with any win on the final day. Palace is up next, at Anfield, in front of fans. Up the Reds.