Post by Football News on Sept 23, 2017 13:34:14 GMT
Liverpool 1 - 1 Burnley
Jürgen Klopp says ‘fortune was not wearing Liverpool shirt’ in Burnley draw
Home team scorers Mohamed Salah 30
Away team scorers Scott Arfield 27
There was a roll-call of former title-winners and mosaics around the ground to mark the 125th anniversary of Liverpool’s first ever game, against Rotherham Town, but there was precious little in the present to celebrate for Jürgen Klopp. “Fortune was not wearing a Liverpool shirt today,” their manager said. Fortune did not fashion a stalemate with Burnley either.
Sean Dyche’s team have clearly learned the lessons of a painful campaign on the road last season, when they took until 29 April to record their first win and suffered 14 away defeats. The experience of a second consecutive season in the top flight is showing in players who have taken five points from visits to Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea. The lessons the home side are learning in their second full season under Klopp are more difficult to ascertain.
Not for the first time, indeed for the second time in four days, Liverpool dominated on home soil but fell behind to a cheap goal conceded from their opponents’ first meaningful attack. They also produced 35 shots but Nick Pope, making the first Premier League start of his career was forced into mainly routine saves from distance as Liverpool’s winless run extended to three games in all competitions.
After a 5-0 defeat at Manchester City and an avoidable Champions League draw with Sevilla, Klopp labelled this week the most frustrating of his Anfield reign “results-wise”. He added: “But, honestly, I am not like this as a person. My job is to see the performance and we reacted really well. We made seven changes and still played this type of football – no one should take this for granted. There were a lot of positive things although I don’t feel any positivity at the moment.”
The first act came as no surprise to the Anfield regulars. Liverpool controlled proceedings only to encounter stubborn resistance and creak under the first spell of pressure. When James Tarkowski swung a long ball out to the left wing the defence disintegrated. First Robbie Brady beat Trent Alexander-Arnold in the air. Both Liverpool centre-halves, Joël Matip and Ragnar Klavan, closed on Chris Wood for the second ball but neither prevented the towering striker nudging a slight touch towards the unmarked Scott Arfield. The forward steered a crisp finish inside Simon Mignolet’s right post to leave Klopp raging at his defenders from the sideline.
“It was just a long ball,” he said. “We could have won the first header and the ball bounced in the wrong direction. Robbo [full-back Andrew Robertson] knows he should have seen Arfield quicker. They are better in these situations, they are more used to it. A good goal for them. We could have defended much better.”
Dyche said Burnley deliberately targeted Alexander-Arnold in the air and while that tactic paid dividends they did not allow Liverpool a monopoly on weak defending against a long ball. Emre Can created a swift equaliser with a measured ball over the top from just inside his own half. Mohamed Salah read the delivery perfectly, unlike Stephen Ward and Ben Mee who backed off and allowed the Egypt international to control and steer a fine low finish beyond Pope.
Normal service resumed thereafter. Liverpool continued to dominate and Burnley rediscovered their resilience to frustrate them. It was only in the final stages that Burnley attacked in numbers and late adventure almost edged them back in front. Brady stung Mignolet’s palms from 25 yards before, from two corners in quick succession by the Republic of Ireland international, Mee had two free headers at the back post. The defender’s first was headed off the line by Matip. His second was saved at close range by the Liverpool goalkeeper with Anfield enraged by a warning unheeded.
Klopp introduced Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Dominic Solanke in a concerted push for victory. The latter went close to obliging when he volleyed against the bar from close range after Alexander-Arnold’s cross deflected into his path. Klopp claimed a penalty for a challenge on Salah in the build-up to Solanke’s chance while Dyche credited Pope with a vital save. Both were stretching it.
“Our plan was to keep them from our goal,” Dyche said. “It is much harder to score from 30 yards than six and we did that well other than their goal.
“We got caught on a long ball, the irony of that. They made seven changes, players who have been brought in for absolute fortunes, players on the bench who have come in for £35m. The challenge we have as managers is we are judged exactly the same but the playing field is not level. But I don’t want to make too much of a big deal because I believe in my players, however much they cost.”