It was very much a tale of attack vs defence on Saturday afternoon as Liverpool were left frustrated by a resolute Burnley defence. Evident right from the minute the two team-sheets came out, Burnley were well set up to close off the space in midfield and utilise their strengths from set-pieces on another sub-par day for The Reds.
Here are the ratings from the match.
Simon Mignolet – 7
The Belgian can be attributed no blame for the Burnley goal, having been left wide open by another questionable performance from Liverpool’s back-four. Making a brilliant save in the second-half to deny Ben Mee from close range after he was left free in the six-yard box, Mignolet ensured things didn’t turn from bad to worse for Klopp’s side.
His confidence in coming for the high balls was a welcome trait on the day.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 5
As always, Trent impressed in the final third, getting forward well in support of the attack and maintaining his wide position to try to stretch the play. However, his final ball was lacking and for all his hard work in getting into the right area, the full-back frustrated the crowd.
At the other end of the field, he was easily beaten by Brady for Burnley’s goal and can be attributed part blame for Ben Mee getting such a clear-cut chance in the second half.
Joel Matip – 6
Also played a hand in the opening goal with poor communication between him and Klavan seeing both defenders challenge Wood in the air. However, he made up for it in the second half when he got across well to divert Ben Mee’s strike off the line.
An unconvincing performance from a player of Matip’s quality – although that was very much the theme of the afternoon for The Reds.
Ragnar Klavan – 5
Despite all his years of experience, Klavan often gets caught in no-mans land. Such was the case when he went to challenge Wood and Matip for the ball, leaving time and space for Arfield to coast throw and slot in Burnley’s opener. The best part of his afternoon came when he made a solid touch to prevent a threatening counter-attack, but other than that it was a day to forget for the Estonian.
Andy Robertson – 6
Robertson cannoned forward whenever he got the chance, supporting the forward line well on more than one occasion. Yet again, we saw his trademark drilled cross go into a dangerous area, although none of his teammates were on hand to steer the ball towards goal.
Very nearly found the net himself after a well-drilled shot forced the goalkeeper into action, while at the other end of the pitch he got across well to deny Gudmundsson a tap in.
Emre Can – 6
Produced one of the few moments of quality for Salah’s opener, slotting the ball through to the Egyptian who was on hand to add to an already impressive start on Merseyside. The German then forced Pope into action himself in the second-half with a long-range strike.
James Milner – 6
Assisted what should have been a Sturridge goal having been given the license to roam forward by Jurgen Klopp. The veteran then provided a lovely through ball for Alexander-Arnold in the closing stages of the match, with the right-back’s volley well stopped by Pope.
However, his age means that he’s unable to move the ball as quick as some of his teammates and that could often be seen to slow the pace of Liverpool’s approach. Inevitably, that allowed Burnley to regroup and get into their positions.
Mohamed Salah – 8
The Egyptian continued his fine start to his Anfield career, producing pretty much all of the good that came from Liverpool’s performance on the day. Even without Mane, Salah proved to be a constant menace to Burnley’s back-four, taking his goal exceptionally well after a brilliant ball from Emre Can.
However, he desperately needs to work on his finishing. Given a number of chances to score the winner for The Reds, Salah was unable to convert – a very similar case to Liverpool’s game against Sevilla in midweek.
Philippe Coutinho – 6
Back on the team-sheet but not back in form. The Brazilian seemed to find his rhythm in the first-half, picking out Sturridge well with a nice through ball. However, the magician’s decision-making wasn’t up to scratch as he opted to shoot from unlikely angles rather than play in Robertson who had acres of space down the left-hand side. Clearly, he was trying to impress the Anfield faithful, but on this occasion, it proved to be a little too much.
Roberto Firmino – 7
As always, the Brazilian provided the first line of defence for Liverpool, pressing to win the ball back early on and setting the tempo for his teammates. He’s a real workaholic and despite being deployed on the left-hand side to accommodate Sturridge’s inclusion, it was another solid display.
The middle of the pitch is where we want to see him play, though.
Daniel Sturridge – 6
As you’d expect from such a lengthy absence, Sturridge was missing his usual sharpness against Burnley. He had a few chances during the course of the match but without his usual ruthlessness in front of goal, none proved to be too much for Pope to handle.
Still, it was nice to see him back on the team-sheet.