Burnley 1-2 Liverpool: Player Ratings
Liverpool eked out an important win against Burnley deep into the stoppage time to begin 2018 on a positive note.
Burnley hosted Liverpool on Matchday 22 of the Premier League and despite the gulf in their respective financial positions, the game was touted to be a close affair, especially with Sean Dyche’s men troubling the supposedly bigger side.
It was Liverpool who took the lead through Sadio Mane in the 61st minute after a rather pedestrian first half before Gudmundsson struck home in the 87th minute to give his side a sniff of an important draw. However, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan combined to give the visitors the lead very deep into the stoppage time to break Burnley's hearts.
Here are the player ratings from the game between the Clarets and the Reds.
Nick Pope – 6
The Burnley shot stopper looked largely in control of the proceedings in his box and was a dominant presence. While there was very little that he could have done to keep both the Liverpool goals from going in, his distribution needs to improve massively for him to actually be in contention for the English national team.
Charlie Taylor – 7
Taylor spent a large amount of time in his own half as he was constantly threatened by Liverpool on the right flank and to his credit, he did well to restrict Liverpool on the flank for the first hour. However, his inability to stop Trent Alexander Arnold from crossing into the box resulted in the visitor’s first goal. He soon made amends with a delightful cross for Sam Vokes to head on to the path of Gudmundsson for his side’s equaliser.
Ben Mee – 7
Mee was arguably the best defender on the pitch. He made several crucial tackles and interceptions to keep Liverpool at bay. He made 2 crucial tackles, won 5 interceptions and effected 1 interception and 2 blocks to ensure that the visitors were left frustrated for large durations of the game.
James Tarkowski – 7
Tarkowski, who was Mee’s partner in crime, had an equally impressive game as he showed great composure on and off the ball. He was a constant thorn in the flesh of the Liverpool attack and while not entirely being tidy with his passing, he showed great resolve alongside Mee to ensure that his side were in with a fighting chance until the very last minute of the game.
Phil Bardsley – 6
The 32-year-old right-back made a crucial interception in the 1st half to deny Dominic Solanke in the box and was a source of constant trouble for Joe Gomez. He bombed forward at every given opportunity yet ensured that the visitors found little joy going forward.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson – 7
Even before he scored Burnley’s equaliser, Gudmundson had been impressive for the Clarets. His ability to whip in crosses by cutting in from the right were on display yet again and he constantly looked to test the often fragile Liverpool defence by delivering dangerous balls into the box. He was duly rewarded for his industry with a goal but it could not stop his side from beginning the year with a loss.
Steven Defour – 6
Defour was Burnley’s leading creator in chief yet again while also ensuring that he did his fair share of dirty work in the middle of the park. He created 2 goal scoring opportunities apart from winning 2 tackles in the centre of the park and effecting an impressive 3 interceptions to make it an all-round performance from the Belgian international.
Jack Cork – 5
To be honest, Cork was perhaps the least impressive Burnley player on the pitch against the Reds. The former Southampton and Swansea man failed to leave his mark on the game and was largely a bystander whose best contributions came via him thumping the ball away from his own goal.
Scott Arfield – 7.5
The Canadian international was perhaps the biggest threat to the Liverpool goal during the first 60 minutes. He constantly turned and twisted his way around the opposition's midfield and also created 3 vital goal scoring opportunities that his side failed to capitalise upon. What was perhaps even more impressive was his defensive contribution as the midfielder put in an industrious showing to keep his side in the game.
Jeff Hendrick – 5
Hendrick made some good runs behind the Liverpool defence but failed to time them on more than one occasion and those were perhaps his brightest moments in the game. Yes, he was tidy with the ball but a lot more was expected from the Irish international against a depleted Liverpool unit and failed to deliver.
Ashley Barnes – 6
The result could have been a lot different had Barnes taken the chances that came his way. While they were difficult chances to begin with, it is perhaps the ability to grab on to them that would make him indispensable to the side. He had 4 shots but failed to truly test Mignolet with his efforts.
Sam Vokes – 7
Vokes came on in the 70th minute with his side chasing the game and instantly made an impact with his presence in and around the box. It was the Welshman’s glanced header that found its way to Gudmundsson for his side’s equaliser and his performance was an indication to suggest that he needs to start more often than he does at the moment.
Nahki Wells – NA
Wells was brought on in the 85th minute for the Scott Arfield.