A FEW OBSERVATIONS FROM THE GAME TODAY. LIVERPOOL 2-0 BURNLEY
Liverpool hosted Burnley in their second game of the season and grafted to a 2-0 win. A very competitive first half saw the Reds go in at the break 1-0 up courtesy a Diogo Jota strike. The second half saw Jurgen Klopp’s side clinch the crucial second goal with Sadio Mané thrashing home. A 2-0 victory that had a lot of scares as Burnley gave as good as they got. Read on for our player ratings.
Alisson – 9.5
He made a string of impressive saves. First half there was a solid stop from a close range Barnes header. Then he stood tall to beat away McNeil’s shot. Second half he had even more to do. Made a wonderful full stretch save to push away Rodriguez’s volley before charging down Barnes in added time and making the block to preserve the clean sheet. Immense. He sent Barnes back to Burnley with a drag back too. Not sure the Kop appreciated it much as they had their hearts in their mouth.
Alexander-Arnold – 9
Started sloppily. Got into a good position early on but his cross was straight at his man and then back off him before going out. He gave the ball away a few times too and missed a clearance on the goalline before it came back off the post. He grew into it and started creating chances. Got his reward when a lovely scooped pass saw Mane seal the game. Was in an enthralling battle with McNeil throughout. Didn’t get the cover he needed from Elliott at times but he stood tall defensively.
Matip – 9
Steady, solid and assured. Had a few problems with the sheer physicality of Ashley Barnes as he lost a couple of duels. He kept them at bay though and earned the clean sheet. It goes under the radar just how good he is. Should have scored when Pope was stranded and the ball came to him but his header was easily cleared. Dealt with a late attack really well when he showed Barnes his outside and then covered him for Alisson to gather.
Van Dijk – 9
Early on when the whole team couldn’t get a grip on the game, it felt like Virgil was not winning headers like he usually did. Usually he didn’t just head clear but headed to a teammate even when under pressure. That came later in the game though as his commanding presence came to the fore. Won some huge headers from set pieces and went close to scoring a few times. His pass to Elliott for the second goal is ridiculous. How’s he playmaking from centre back? His block on Rodriguez’s shot late on was classic Virgil.
Tsimikas – 9
Another solid performance from the Greek. Lovely assist for Jota. When he shaped to cross I worried that we lacked height in the Burnley box, but when the delivery is such pinpoint, it doesn’t matter if they have giants in their box. Defended well even if he allowed a few too many crosses to come in from his side early on. Took a bollocking off Klopp when he booted a ball out of play. Klopp would have preferred him to keep possession. There was an amusing moment second half when he was pressed by three players, fell to the turf but still somehow emerged with the ball. Got a good ovation from the Kop when he was subbed.
Henderson – 9
The skipper looked incredibly sharp today. His touch and passing ability was on point throughout. He created a few openings with his trademark cross to the backpost. His lovely switch of play to Tsimikas led to the first goal. Combined well with Keita and Elliott at times. Good to get ninety minutes in his legs. Should be ready to go again next week for the big one. You’d expect him to play further forward with Fabinho returning.
Elliott – 8
The youngster was bright throughout, he was on the receiving end of some crunching tackles. It’s a learning curve for the 18 year old, as he lost the ball after another hard tackle and Burnley went close to scoring. He improved and was unfortunate to see his cute assist for Salah disallowed for offside. Some passes didn’t come off but you know he’s going to have a huge season. His role in the second can’t be ignored. He pulled wide to the right wing and demanded for the ball from Virgil before showing exquisite control to bring it down and quickly get it to Trent. More to come.
Keita – 7.5
Solid if unspectacular. Had a shot go over the bar after encouragement from the crowd to shoot. First half he got on the ball and tried to get us playing. Very quiet second half though. A few lovely touches here and there. Subbed.
Salah – 8
Had a goal ruled out for a marginal offside call. He was guilty at times for not timing his run to perfection as he was found offside. Unlucky not to score after bringing down Elliott’s cross on his shot before his shot was blocked off the line. A few shots curled well wide. His appetite to keep running in behind is incredible. Tried to put one on a plate for Mane late on but the cross had too much on it. No goal but a good perfomance nonetheless.
Jota – 8
This boy is a natural finisher. Nothing complicated about his style of play, he’s all about the goals. Almost like he has a sixth sense for it. His pace and acceleration helped him run across Mee to plant a header into the bottom corner. He’s scored a few of such goals in his brief Anfield career so far. As it stands, he’s keeping Firmino out of the team. Two starts, two goals. Not much else can be asked of him.
Mané – 8
First half he was a bit off it. You could tell with his first touch, or lack thereof. He stepped it up second half though and started causing them more problems. Was unlucky with his volley after Trent’s intelligent pass. That technique is almost impossible to pull off, trying to hit the ball sweetly when it’s dropping from behind your shoulder. Took his goal well though. Most would have taken a touch but he went first time, on the volley, bottom corner, no chance for Pope. He had a header he could have done better with, as he headed straight at Pope. Off and running for the season.
Firmino – N/A
Got the crowd singing his name. Game was done by the time he came on. Put a shot too close to Pope from just inside the box.
Thiago – N/A
One lovely turn and through pass ended with the Firmino shot. He gave the ball away and in his haste to win it back, left a hole in midfield for Burnley to walk through and almost score late on. Then he headed a ball to Henderson and between the skipper and Matip, they let Burnley in for another chance. Good to see him back though.
Gomez – N/A
Showed faith in young Elliott and gave him the full ninety even when he could have taken him off with the game safe. Gave Thiago minutes and Gomez a welcome return late on. I wondered if he would have made a change early second half when the score stayed 1-0. His faith in the lineup paid off when they made it 2-0.
3 thoughts on “A FEW OBSERVATIONS FROM THE GAME TODAY. LIVERPOOL 2-0 BURNLEY”
Thanks for this Fritz YNWA
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