Match report: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley
Andy Hunter was at Anfield to see Jay Rodriguez, Nick Pope and chums conspire to end Liverpool’s home dominance this season. Read on …
Jurgen Klopp speaks: “We left the door open for Burnley,” he says. “We didn’t close it. We should have scored two, three … four goals at least but we didn’t. In these types of situations against Burnley you can never defend 100% because the ref today left all these challenges [on Alisson, presumably] happen and when the ball came into the box it’s dangerous.
“That’s how they scored the goal. What Burnley did really well, they stayed completely in the game. They weren’t bothered about conceding chances minute after minute. They pretty much just did what they wanted to do. All respect for that, but on the other hand it’s frustrating, clearly. We should have scored much earlier.”
Sean Dyche speaks: “It’d be pushing it a bit,” he tells BT Sport, when asked if it was game Burnley might have won. “They’ve had chances as they do here. They were terrific, especially in the first half. They stay and they press and they don’t give you a breather. We felt that if we could just stay in it, as we did just about until half-time, we might find moments in the second half. And we did.
On Burnley’s improved second half performance: “It was a strange kind of game,” he says. “They had a lot of chances but there was a lot of ‘maybes’. We had that golden chance right at the end and we’ve created some really good chances today against a top side. Forget about the fact there’s nobody in here, this is still a very difficult place to come.
On his half-time team talk: “I just reminded of them of the fact, don’t wait for 1-0 down football. A lot of teams relax a bit when they’re 1-0 down. It seems a strange thing to say but they kind of go ‘Let’s see what we can go and do’. So I just reminded them of that. It’s very difficult because we were never going to dominate the ball, but we’ve done well.”
Nick Pope speaks: “We pushed on in the second half,” the Burnley goalkeeper tells suave and debonair BT Sport pitch-side reporter Dishy Des Kelly. “Really after they scored I thought we played really well. We created chances of our own and every set piece we looked dangerous, every ball in the box we looked dangerous. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite go in for us at the end. After the goal we started to press a bit higher and make chances. It nearly worked.”
On his two outstanding first half saves: “It’s nice to be involved,” he says. “You come to big grounds like this you expect to be busy. Liverpool are Premier League champions for a reason so you’ve got to come here and be ready for action. I was fortunate enough to keep a couple out.”
Full time: Liverpool 1-1 Burnley
Peep! Peep! Peeeeeeeep! It’s all over at Anfield, where Burnley have got a well deserved point. Andy Robertson gave Liverpool the lead with a wonderful curled header, but several fine saves from Nick Pope kept Burnley in the game before Jay Rodriguez smashed home from the edge of the penalty area to earn his side a share of the spoils.
90+2 min: Liverpool go forward, Virgil van Dijk picking out Trent Alexander-Arnold on the right flank with a wonderful pass from deep. He squares the ball for Mo Salah, who shoots straight at Nick Pope. Salah has missed several good chances today, which will be a source of great irritation for him in his quest for the golden boot. Off the top of my head, I think he’s two behind Leicester’s Jamie Vardy.
90 min: We’ll have four minutes of added time but will we get a winner? Burnley are edging it at the moment.
89 min: Nick Pope is booked for time-wasting. Stop wasting time, Nick.
88 min: Phil Bardsley is booked after clattering through the back of Mo Salah.
88 min: Joey Gudmundsson smashes a shot off the bar after some pinball in the Liverpool penalty area following a Burnley corner.
87 min: Chances at either end as Jay Rodriguez is this close to getting his toe a cross from the right, before Mo Salah shoots straight into Nick Pope’s bread basket. There’s three minutes plus add-ons left, but I reckon we’ll get a winner.
83 min: Another cross into the Burnley penalty area by Trent Alexander-Arnold and there’s a penalty appeal as Gudmundsson brings down Robertson. He got the ball. No spot-kick.
82 min: Trent Alexander-Arnold curls a wicked cross into the Burnley penalty area from the right, but Kevin Long clears with a good header.
80 min: Joe Gomez is booked for a late challenge on Joe Gomez near the halfway line.
77 min: Naby Keita presses forward and tries to pick out Firminho in the Burnley penalty area. His pass is intercepted.
75 min: Liverpool go in search of their second, Robertson crossing low and hard from the left. Kevin Long hacks clear.
71 min: The last top flight team to win all their home games in a season were the mighty Sunderland back in 1892. Liverpool are good, but are they that good? Can they hold a candle to Victorian era Sunderland, with their monocles, pipes and top hats and ? We’ll find out in the next 20 minutes.
GOAL! Liverpool 1-1 Burnley (Rodriguez 68)
A free-kick from deep, the ball’s knocked down in the Liverpool penalty area and Jay Rodriguez smashes home a low drive from the edge of the box.
68 min: Gin and tonics all round as the players of both teams pause for drinks. Liverpool double-substitution ahoy: Neco Williams and Curtis Jones are clapped off by the virtual crowd after good performances, Naby Keita and Trent Double-A on.
65 min: Burnley double-substitution: Joey Gudmundsson and Matej Vydra on, Erik Pieters and Chris Wood off. Liverpool win a corner, which Nick Pope claims comfortably.
62 min: In the opposition penalty area, Gini Wijnaldum hacks at a ball that drops his way following a Liverpool corner, but his effort is blocked. Burnley are hanging in there doggedly.
60 min: A Fabinho shot from just outside the Burnley penalty area takes a wicked deflection off Josh Brownhill. It goes out for a corner, but could have gone anywhere, truth be told. Nick Pope was completely wrong-footed.
58 min: Rocking a newly acquired peroxide blond barnet, Divock Origi begins warming up on the touchline. It suits him in a way that Bobby Firmino’s purple rinse really does not do the Brazilian justice.
57 min: Jay Rodriguez, who I remain convinced is still at West Brom, brings a smart save out of Alisson. Offside.
55 min: Neco Williams tries to shimmy and a-shally his way towards the Burnley goal, cutting in from the right. He beats two defenders, but runs into an immovable object in the form of James Tarkowski.
55 min: Chris Wood tries his luck from distance but Alisson saves comfortably.
51 min: The man in charge of BT Sport’s crowd noise machine hits the button marked “Kop celebrates a goal”, but he’s a mite premature. From a great position just inside the Burnley penalty area, Curtis Jones fires wide.
49 min: Still looking for his first Premier League goal at Anfield this season, Bobby Firminho looks a certainty to score into the empty Kop end until his low diagonal effort raps the foot of the far upright and bounces back into play before being hacked clear. So close! Good play by Mo Salah, who teed up the Brazilian on the left side of the penalty area.
47 min: A good ball from deep from Virgil van Dijk looks to be arrowing towards Salah at the far post, but James Tarkowski glances a header out for a corner. The ensuing outswinger sails out of play before curling back into the penalty area. Goal kick.
Second half: Liverpool 1-0 Burnley
46 min: Play resumes with no changes in personnel on either side. The champions lead by the only goal of the game but Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope has kept his side in with a shout with a couple of outstanding saves.
Half-time: Liverpool 1-0 Burnley
Andy Robertson’s excellent header separates the sides as they saunter off for the break at the end of an entertaining first half. Liverpool deserve their lead and could be further ahead but for a couple of outstanding saves by Nick Pope. It’s all to play for in the second half.
45+2 min: Another brilliant save from Nick Pope, who must have wrists made of titanium to keep out a Sadio Mane pile-driver that looked destined for the top corner with his right hand. That’s his second world class save of the game. Outstanding.
45+2 min: James Tarkowski heads away as Gini Wijnaldum tries to pick out Mo Salah with a ball over the top.
45 min: Liverpool corner, which Neco Williams takes. Erik Pieters heads clear as Tannoy Man announces there’ll be two minutes of added time.
44 min: Andy Robertson is playing a blinder today and drills another low cross into the corridor of uncertainty after leaving Erik Pieters in his dust down the left wing. Mo Salah looks likely to convert at the near post, but doesn’t quite get there in time. A let-off for Burnley.
41 min: Where others might capitulate, Burnley have responded well to going behind. They’re enjoying their best spell of the game and go close when Dwight McNeil intercepts a wayward cross-field pass from Robertson. Joe Gomez gets his body in the way and defelcts McNeil’s shot from the edge of the area out for a corner. From that set piece, Burnley win another, with Alisson getting increasingly frustrated with the way he’s been man-marked by two Burnley players on his own goal line at corners. Liverpool clear.
40 min: Virgil van Dijk stretches every sinew to intercept a cross looping towards the head of Chris Wood on the edge of the six yard box with his head.
37 min: Back to the goal, from the middle of the pitch, maybe 10 yards outside the Burnley penalty area, Fabinho spotted Robertson making a run up the inside right. He picked him out with a clipped pass and the Scot guided his header across the face of goal, past Pope and inside the far post. That was a brilliant header from a man who has clearly sobered up since his celebrations on the night Liverpool were confirmed champions.
35 min: Burnley win a free-kick between the left side of the Liverpool penalty area and the touchline, but Ashley Westwood’s delivery is atrocious. Liverpool clear, the head of Andy Robertson making another decisive intervention.
GOAL! Liverpool 1-0 Burnley (Robertson 34)
Well colour me red and call me Mystic Meg. Andy Robertson steers a wonderful header past Pope and inside the far post from a difficult angle.
33 min: Burnley give the ball away inside their own penalty area, offering Mo Salah a route to goal. His shot is saved well by Pope.
31 min: The deadlock remains unbroken but you can’t help but feel it’s only a matetr of time before Liverpool score and potentially open the floodgates. Burnley are being over-run in midfield, where Josh Brownhill and Ashley Westwood are struggling. Young Curtis Jones has been impressive on the ball, moving it quickly and with no little precision.