Liverpool’s frustrating week continued as Burnley battled hard for a well-deserved 1-1 draw at Anfield on Saturday despite the return of Philippe Coutinho to the starting line-up.
Sean Dyche’s side took the lead against the run of play in the 27th minute through Scott Arfield, but the hosts responded three minutes later through Mohamed Salah.
Liverpool continued to dominate possession after the break but Burnley had chances of their own with Ben Mee denied by both Joel Matip and Simon Mignolet.
- Substitute Dominic Solanke then had a brilliant chance to seal all three points for the hosts late on but his shot was tipped onto the crossbar by Nick Pope as Burnley kept their unbeaten start to the season away from home intact.
Liverpool: Mignolet (7), Alexander-Arnold (7), Matip (6), Klavan (6), Robertson (7), Can (6), Milner (6), Salah (8), Coutinho (7), Firmino (6), Sturridge (6).
Subs: Solanke (6), Oclade-Chamberlain (6).
Burnley: Pope (8), Lowton (7), Tarkowski (8), Mee (8), Ward (7), Gudmundsson (6), Defour (6), Cork (7), Arfield (7), Brady (7), Wood (6).
Subs: Barnes (6), Westwood (n/a), Vokes (n/a).
Man of the match: Nick Pope
Liverpool dominated the early stages but it was Burnley who took the lead out of nowhere in the 27th minute. Matip and Roger Klavan failed to deal with Robbie Brady’s flick-on and the ball fell to Arfield on the edge of the penalty area, and he drove the ball beyond Simon Mignolet and into the bottom corner.
However, it took Klopp’s men just three minutes to respond with Emre Can’s pass picking out Salah, who brought the ball down in the penalty area before smashing it past Pope.
Coutinho was starting to pull the strings for the hosts and the home fans thought they’d taken the lead when the Brazilian’s pass released Daniel Sturridge, but the England striker’s shot crashed into the side netting.
The Brazil international, who a month ago handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force a move to Barcelona, received a rapturous welcome at Anfield and may have been guilty of trying too hard, firing a number of shots over the crossbar before being replaced midway through the second half.
Philippe Coutinho made his first start of the season in place of the suspended Sadio Kane. Jurgen Klopp made seven changes in total from the draw with Sevilla with Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Klavan, Robertson, Milner and Sturridge coming in for Karius, Gomez, Lovren, Moreno, Henderson and Wijnaldum. Burnley made two changes to the side that beat Crystal Palace last time out with Nick Pope and Scott Arfield replacing the injured Tom Heaton and Sam Vokes.
It was virtually one-way traffic from there in as Coutinho, Can, James Milner, Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold all had chances.
Solanke’s shot from close range was then tipped onto the crossbar by the impressive Pope late on as Burnley’s game plan held firm.
The Clarets could have nicked it themselves when centre-back Mee had one effort headed over by Matip and another saved by Mignolet in the same attack.
- Liverpool had 35 attempts on goal – since 2003-04, they’ve only had more in a single Premier League match once (37 vs Everton, April 2016).
- These were the first points Burnley earned in a league match at Anfield since a 1-0 win in September 1974 – they’d lost their previous four in a row before today.
- Emre Can has provided as many assists in his four Premier League games this season as he had in his previous 89 combined in the competition (2).
- Liverpool have averaged 72% possession over their last three Premier League games against Burnley, but have only managed to win one of those games (D1 L1).
Jurgen Klopp: “I’m angry about the performance. In a lot of moments of this game you cannot play better football than we did today. We didn’t finish the situations with the goalkeeper making two outstanding saves. The quality is there. I saw a great attitude. I saw them running, I saw them playing and I saw them fighting, but I didn’t see them scoring and that’s a problem.”
Sean Dyche: “First-half he [Pope] didn’t have too much to do. He ended up picking the ball out of the back of the net but it was more to do with the defensive unit, who I was delighted with today.
“Second-half, when you really need your keeper he makes two great saves. One took a nick on the way through which he got a quick hand to and the second right under his bar. That’s what the goalkeeper is there for. He’s learning all the time and improving.”
Charlie Nicholas: “It was an onslaught from Liverpool. I’m not taking anything away from Burnley’s performance, it was dogged, resilient, you name it, but the problem with Liverpool is they started slowly.
“It’s far too regular for Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp was calm on the sidelines but he will be angry inside. They will be disappointed they only got a point but this is still the story of Liverpool. They are still unconvincing against these teams.”