Liverpool 3 - 1 Burnley
Liverpool: Jota 31’, Díaz 52’, Nunez 79’
Arsenal: O’Shea 45’
Alisson and Joe Gomez both seem to have succumbed to the flu that manager Jürgen Klopp mentioned earlier this week. On the plus side, seeing Andy Robertson in the starting XI is a nice sight.
Darwin Nunez has started the game like a man on a mission to avenge those four hits to the woodwork against Chelsea.
Fofana takes up his mantel early on in the match with a pass gone wrong (right?) that dinged off the far top corner of the bar. It was offside anyway, though, so it didn’t matter.
Anfield are in full voice on what looks to be a lovely day in Liverpool. With Manchester City beating useless Everton in the early game, the pressure is on for their men to regain their place at the top of the table.
Burnley goalkeeper Trafford begins the time wasting early, taking his goal kick at his leisure only a quarter of the way through this match.
Despite a tepid start to the game, it’s Liverpool that nearly get first blood. Diogo Jota and Nunez work together on the break. Jota tries a tight pass in the box, but Trafford intercepts before it reaches its target.
But at 31’, Jota makes it count. The Reds earn a corner. Robertson sends it in and it’s Jota whose head hits it first. The ball sails past Trafford into the empty net. That’s Jota’s ninth league goal and 14th goal in all competitions this season.
Liverpool seem keen to grab a second in the following minutes. Robertson and Curtis Jones combine together this time, but Robertson’s shot is deflected.
Moments later, Anfield, the players, and the manager erupt with shouts for a penalty on Jota, who was dragged down in the box. Their calls are ignored by the referee, and Klopp is issued a yellow card for dissent.
The Reds rue that decision at the end of regular time when O’Shea returns Jota’s earlier favor and equalizes from a Burnley corner.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has been taken off as a head injury precaution to start the second half. Harvey Elliott replaces him to see out the second half of the game.
Liverpool attack the Kop and push to regain their lead in this game. Jota gets another header on an early corner, but it’s a tame effort right into the hands of the goalkeeper.
After only seven minutes, it’s Luis Díaz who reclaims the lead for Liverpool. It’s the substitute Elliott, eager to make a mark on the game, who passes it into the onrushing Díaz. There’s a lengthy VAR check for offside, but after it, the goal stands, and the Reds are ahead again.
The heavens seem to be smiling on Liverpool today. Either that, or Fofana has done something to anger them. He misses two gorgeous chances. First on the break, Kelleher denies him. In his second chance, he doesn’t quite tuck it into the far corner, and it goes out safely for a goal kick.
Despite getting let off twice, this is concerning from the home team who look on the back foot even though their a goal to the good.
Jota has another effort tipped over the bar for a corner, which ends with Jarell Quansah kicking it over the bar.
Elliott is not done with the assists yet. This time it’s to Darwin Nunez for Liverpool’s third. We love hitting the attacking bingo when all three up front score.
Nunez should have gotten his second and Liverpool’s fourth. He takes a lovely first touch to control the ball one on one with the keeper. However, his shot is right at the keeper.
Klopp makes some late substitutes. Cody Gakpo replaces Diaz. And moments later, the triple change of Kostas Tsimikas, James McConnell, and Bobby Clark for Robertson, Alexis Mac Allister, and Wataru Endo gives the young blood some playing time before the final whistle.
It was a pretty uneven game with lots of weirdness, including, but not limited to, yellow cards for both managers and a flu taking out several Liverpool players. However, Liverpool did what they needed to do to pick up the three points and get back into the top spot.