THEY DID THE THING. Liverpool were able to wash away the stink of last weekend’s loss in lovely fashion on Saturday by dispatching visiting Burnley with three headed goals. Despite another dismal first half that saw the teams level at the break, the Reds rallied and Luis Diaz and Darwin Núñez both got back on the scoresheet. It was a particularly good day for our Uruguayan striker, as he finally found the net and not the woodwork.
Burnley were allowed to be their cynical and physical selves, really channeling the Sean Dyche energy of squads past, and got away with a lot of pulling down in crucial areas. Surely Dyche was watching from Goodison Park, cackling even as Burnley gave away goals (and Everton lost).
Now join us as we examine some of the narratives, tactics, reactions, and questions Liverpool will be dealing with and the fans will be talking about in the aftermath.
Winners and Losers
Winners - Darwin Fans: Fans of the eccentric Uruguayan were treated to one of his best performances in a red shirt on Saturday. After being dropped against Arsenal last weekend, Darwin returned to the pitch with a hunger that helped drive the rest of the squad forward, even as some of his touches didn’t quite land where he wanted. His energy was a delight to watch, and the goal in the second half was just icing on the cake.
Losers - Vincent Kompany’s Burnley: I mean, it’s pretty obvious, they lost the game and remain in the relegation zone to get sent back to the Championship. Kompany was booked for arguing with the fourth official, just as Klopp was. They got away with a lot of physical fouls, sure, but were unable to make anything of all that cynical play.
Winners - the club of Liverpool: With even more portions of the updated Anfield Road end stand open to ticket holders, the win against Burnley came against a new league attendance record at Anfield of over 59k fans. The win also saw Liverpool put back on top of the table, after briefly losing the spot to Manchester City earlier in the day, and maintained that two point gap between first and second place. It’s good to be a Red these days, even as we countdown to Jurgen’s departure.
Winner/Loser - Trent Alexander-Arnold: The defender came off injured at halftime after just barely making a return from a previous injury. Early assessments don’t look promising, and our new record holder for assists from a defender (in league history) is facing another spell on the sidelines.
How The Players & Managers Reacted
Harvey Elliott: “It has been a tough season and a few games we have had to grind to get three points – and today was one of them. Burnley made it very, very hard, came here with a clear game plan and caused us problems. But, as I said, we found a way to win and were clinical in the moments we needed to be. We could have scored more as well. But it just sums up this team and we’re not going to stop.”
Jürgen Klopp: “No problem with fighting hard for the result. Actually, I can’t remember the last time when that wasn’t the case. But today obviously, for some obvious and for some less obvious reasons, it was clear it will be a really tricky afternoon. It was about how we deal with it, how much character we can show, and the boys showed exactly what we needed.”
What Comes Next
Liverpool’s next match comes next weekend on Saturday, February 17 at 12:30pm GMT, when they visit Brentford A fair amount of time to assess the injury that forced Trent Alexander-Arnold off at halftime today, to work on returning Mohamed Salah from his own back injury, and to hopefully banish the flu that is going through the team that kept out Alisson. Ibrahima Konate should also be fit to return after serving his one match ban for receiving a second yellow against Arsenal.
There’s a league to be won!