It was a tough New Year’s Day win for Liverpool as they overcame a sturdy Burnley side at Turf Moor. Jürgen Klopp made quite a few changes; seven to be precise. The trio of Philippe Coutinho, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino weren’t named in the starting line-up. While Coutinho and Salah didn’t make the squad, Firmino was rested as Dominic Solanke started up front for the Reds alongside Sadio Mane and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Sean Dyche welcomed back James Tarkowski and the team lineup in their usual 4-5-1, making it hard for Liverpool to create clear-cut openings. The game had a pretty similar pattern to Liverpool’s last tie against Burnley at Anfield. The hosts sat deep and countered Klopp’s men when they had the chance.
A Sadio Mane strike gave Liverpool the lead and just when Burnley thought they had stolen a point with Johann Gudmundsson’s equaliser, Ragnar Klavan turned out to be the unlike hero with his late winner deep into added time.
Here are the talking points from the game:
#5 Liverpool match Burnley’s work ethic
Okay, Klopp’s side are known for their work ethic, but against teams who play a pragmatic game, the stats are usually not in Liverpool’s favour. While they obviously lead the attacking stats; possession, shots and dribbles completed owing to the calibre of players they have up front, what was intriguing is Liverpool matched Burnley for the defensive stats, thereby showing why they’ve come a long way since that chastening defeat against Tottenham.
Liverpool made as many as 13 tackles, the same as Burnley, won 23 aerial duels, and dispossessed their opponents eight times. They themselves were disposed nine times, but you can what I’m pointing out here.