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Liverpool 3 – 1 Burnley

Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League with a deserved 3-1 victory over Burnley in front of a record attendance at Anfield.

Manchester City had overtaken the Reds earlier on Saturday thanks to Erling Haaland’s brace in a 2-0 win over Everton, but a crowd of 59,896 roared to put Jurgen Klopp’s side back in the lead by two points.

But Burnley, seven points from safety, gave them a huge scare after Diogo Jota had headed the hosts home with a brilliant Dara O’Shea header into a corner before the break.

Luis Diaz restored Liverpool’s lead early in the second half, angering Burnley manager Vincent Kompany, who thought VAR should have disallowed the goal for a foul on Aaron Ramsey in the build-up.

Chelsea loanee David Datro Fofona then squandered two great chances to pull Burnley level before Darwin Nunez headed a late header into the left corner to secure the points.

Player ratings:

Liverpool: Kelleher (7), Robertson (6), Quansah (6), Van Dijk (6), Alexander-Arnold (7), Endo (7), Mac Allister (7), Jones (7), Díaz (8), Núñez (8), Jack (8).

Substitutes: Elliott (8), Gakpo (n/a), Clark (n/a), McConnell (n/a), Tsimikas (n/a)/

Burnley: Trafford (5), Assignon (6), O’Shea (7), Esteve (6), Delcroix (5), Brownhill (6), Berge (6), Ramsey (6), Odobert (6), Fofana (5 ), Amdouni (6).

Substitutes: Vitinho (n/a), Bruun Larsen (n/a), Massengo (n/a).

Player of the match: Luis Diaz

How Liverpool regained top spot

Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez celebrates with Harvey Elliott after making it 3-1

Caoimhin Kelleher started in goal for Liverpool in place of the ailing Alisson and made a smart save early on with his right hand to deny Zeki Amdouni, who had burst into the area past Virgil van Dijk, amid a bright start to the visitors.

Liverpool were slow and sloppy but took the lead against the run of play just after the half-hour mark. A corner from Trent Alexander-Arnold drew goalkeeper James Trafford off his line, but he failed to catch the delivery allowing Jota to head into an empty net.

Team News:

  • Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was absent through illness and was replaced by Caoimhin Kelleher. Jarell Quansah replaced the suspended Ibrahim Konate.
  • Joe Gomez was also ill, so Andy Robertson made his first start since October after his shoulder problem. Wataru Endo returned from the Asian Cup to start in midfield.
  • David Datro Fofana made his first start for Burnley on loan from Chelsea and striker Lyle Foster was not in the team.
  • Maxime Esteve and Hannes Delcroix also replaced Vitinho and Hjalmar Ekdal.

That brought the hosts to life with Diaz denied by Trafford from close range before Klopp received a yellow card for his protests when Jota was denied a penalty after going down in the area under pressure from Hannes Delcroix.

But on the stroke of half-time, Burnley got the equalizer their performance deserved. Josh Brownhill’s corner was driven into the top right corner by O’Shea’s header from 12 yards.

Burnley's Dara O'Shea scores his equalizer
Burnley’s Dara O’Shea scores his equalizer

Alexander-Arnold was replaced at half-time by Harvey Elliott although this did not affect Liverpool at the start of the second half. Diaz soon nodded in following a low cross from the substitute and Burnley wanted the goal disallowed for a foul on Ramsey by Alexis Mac Allister.

Burnley, however, should have equalized when Fofana burst in and Kelleher made a great save to deny him. The next goal was deflected by Wilson Odobert before Fofana had another golden chance moments later, but he shot wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Jota was stopped by Trafford and Jarell Quansah volleyed narrowly wide of the left post, but Burnley were unable to keep Liverpool out again as Nunez scored cleverly with his head. He should have got a second in stoppage time but took a direct hit at the goalkeeper.

Whats Next?

Both Liverpool and Burnley They return to Premier League action next Saturday.

Liverpool travels to Brentford February 17; start at 12:30 p.m. Meanwhile, host Burnley Arsenal at 3 pm.

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