Strikes from Sam Vokes and Andre Gray have given Sean Dyche’s Burnley a 2-0 victory against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Despite Liverpool dominating for much of the game, preventable mistakes at the back cost them dearly.
Nathaniel Clyne gave the ball away in the second minute, leading to Vokes giving the Clarets’ the lead. Then, Steven Defour, on his Burnley debut, sprung away and played in Gray to give them a 2-0 advantage.
Liverpool are the opposite of flat track bullies
We all know Liverpool can bring their best in the so-called bigger games, but can they produce it against sides that sit deep and play on the counter-attack?
Saturday’s performance further enforced that this Liverpool side still does not have the quality and cutting edge to break smaller clubs like Burnley down. It has been an issue for the Reds in recent seasons and it looks as if it may be no different come this campaign.
Last season, Liverpool were far too inconsistent and cannot allow that to happen again. These types of games could ultimately define the Reds’ season and an improvement is needed quickly if they have any aspirations of a top four finish.
Burnley were clinical
Liverpool dominated possession and that is exactly how Sean Dyche would have wanted things to play out. The Reds enjoyed 81% of the ball come the end of the game, but it was irrelevant.
Burnley knew their best chance of winning the game was going to come through a quick break and that is exactly what happened. Three shots and two goals, Burnley showed what a difference being clinical can be and that is why they were rewarded with three points.
This game also showed that possession means little, and teams can emerge victorious regardless of how much of the ball they had. Burnley will set up in most games this season like they did against Liverpool and if they can defend and attack as well as they did against the Reds, then they have a fantastic chance of staying in England’s top flight.
Emre Can’s absence proved crucial
With Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum playing in the middle of the park, the back four is not going to get the best protection. This certainly is not their fault, it is systemic problem. Both like to get forward and get involved in the attacking play; they are not holding-midfield type players and will not give the defence the protection it needs.
You can see the pair are trying to play the role and do the team thing, but it just is not suited to them. You lose everything great about what the two players bring by playing them in deeper roles.
Emre Can is so important for Liverpool because he is one of the few that can play that deeper midfield role. No one else in the squad can play it to the level he does. Only match fitness has kept him out of starting the first two games of the season, but one would think he has to come in against Tottenham at White Hart Lane to give the defenders that assurance there will be an extra body back if required.