Burnley vs Liverpool :Match day 2 report


Liverpool Starting XI (4-3-3):

(22) Mignolet; (7) Milner; (17) Klavan; (6) Lovren; (2) Nathaniel Clyne;
(5) Wijnaldum; (14) Henderson; (20) Lallana; (10) Coutinho; (11) Firmino; (15) Sturridge.



Burnley starting XI (4-4-2):
(1) Heaton; (2) Lowton; (5) M. Keane; (6) Ben Mee; (23) S. Ward; (21) G.
Boyd; (8) Marney; (16) S. Defour; (37) S. Arfield; (7) A. Gray; (9) S. Vokes.


What was to be a regulation win over a side that the Reds have defeated on all four prior
meetings turned out to be another reminder of Liverpool’s sterile defensive aptitude.
As expected, James Milner took Alberto “erroneous” Moreno’s place at leftback.
An injury stricken Sadio Mane would have to sit out today’s encounter but Daniel Sturridge got the nod
and looked to impress at Klopp’s forward line alongside Firmino and Coutinho, attacking
from the left of a Red 4-3-3 starting formation. Henderson, Wijnaldum, and Lallana provided
support in the middle with Klavan and Lovren at the focal points in Liverpool’s back four
while Clyne and Milner worked the flanks. On paper this formation, though slightly different
from last matchday’s lineup seemed to play to Liverpool’s strengths and hinted at more not
less of an attacking outing and with the history of success with Burnley, the bookies must
have felt safe with this formation; a Liverpool win was almost inevitable.
Sadly, Sean Dyche’s men playing in front of the Turf Moor faithful seemed to ditch the memo
as the Vokes/Gray two man show in the first half and a resolute Burnley backline thereafter
seemed to be enough to snatch all threepoints and rewrite the history that is Burnley’s
losing streak in this fixture.


Brilliant as the win was, the real menacing assistance came from yet another haunting of
Liverpool’s ghosts of shabby defenses past, as it only took 2 minutes (actually 1 minute 46
seconds) for Burnley to breach the Red defenses no thanks to an incredibly threadbare pass
to no one from Nathaniel Clyne getting pounced on by Andre Gray who slid the pass to his
strike partner, Sam Vokes who, at the edge of the box and with his back to goal, held off his
man, twirled and smacked a wonderful finish beyond the despairing Mignolet.


The following minutes would have Liverpool huffing and puffing with tremendous frequency
but nothing seemed to even try to stick not until the 15th minute when Lallana swiveled past
Burnley’s 18yard line looking to find Firmino in the six-yard box, but great defensive work
from Michael Keane kept that attempt just that – an attempt as the ex-Manchester United
defender lashed the clearance into touch.


Liverpool settled into the game after that 2nd minute gaffe by Clyne, keeping possession and
stringing some attacks but the pressure yielded nothing. A Liverpool equalizer seemed
inescapable until the 37th minute in what could be arguably the world’s slowest
counterattack – Liverpool players were queued in front of the Burnley penalty area looking
for a way through when, with the aid of a deflection, Burnley’s Belgian debutant, Defour got a
counter going through the heart of the Liverpool midfield, threaded the pass nicely to Andre
Gray, who jinked inside two luckless defenders and fired the low finish past Mignolet for the
two-goal cushion.
Klopp’s men got a-huffing-and-puffing again with nothing to show for heading into the locker
rooms for half time and a possible hairdryer from Jurgen Klopp.


To-do’s were simple: for the Reds – attack, attack, attack and DON’t get hit on
the counter;

for Burnley, parking the bus was a no-brainer

which they did even if it meant not having possession for 45 minutes.
Wave after wave of attack yielded nothing as the now Burnley back 11 kept Liverpool at bay
for the full 45 minute half which was in itself a masterclass in defensive organization, a real
beauty to witness if you were a neutral or Burnley fan.


The best of Liverpool’s 25 chances to somehow get out of the ditch they’d dug themselves
into came in the 86th minute which saw Coutinho gifted with a loose ball in the Burnley
penalty box, the striker let fly but a brave flying block helped Heaton keep the ball from
coming to him, the Burnley keeper seemed at a loss there with his angles way out in the

Full time saw Burnley close out an impressive 2-0
win over Liverpool, courtesy of first half strikes from
Vokes and Gray. The home side really showed Klopp’s men what actual defending looked
like with that outstanding performance in the second half that left Liverpool red-faced and
frustrated as they left TurfMoor
with no points on this 2nd match day

Player Ratings
Mignolet:———— 6.1/10
Not a good day for the Liverpool goalie, granted little was his fault but as he was still less
than his average self; didn’t lead at all.
Milner:————— 5.8/10
Little errors came from him today but he gave a remarkably tame performance up front.


Ragnar Klavan: ——–6.0/10
Seemed way out of sorts today, sure he held the fort in the second half but a match is made
up of two halves that need nothing less than 200% focus.



Dejan Lovren: ——–6.6/10
Hopefully he’ll make it right by their next fixture but this one was definitely one to forget.



{Wijnaldum; Henderson; Lallana}: ——–5.9/10
Worked the attacking charge nicely today but gave the Burnley defenders little to worry
about in terms of varied attacking threats.


Firmino:———— 4.9/10
Firmino still frustrates with the number of times he undercooks passes, or tries to take too
many on and loses possession needlessly. I guess word to Klopp would be not to get a CM
to do a striker’s job!



Sturridge:———— 5.0/10

Expected much from the Englishman, received next to nothing. Incredibly pacified



Coutinho:————— 6.3/10
Was the standout
player today but 8 attempts with only 1 on target doesn’t really inspire

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