Liverpool’s Hard-Fought Victory Over Burnley: A Detailed Analysis
Pre-Match Context and Squad Resilience
This was very difficult game to navigate, given the outbreak on flu within the squad, especially when a week’s rest and preparation was expected by Jürgen Klopp. The need to dig deep and show character was very much evident here, as Anfield were forced to endure some turgid home form before rallying to overcome. Earlier in the day, Manchester City had scored with their two shots on target (against Jordan Pickford), as they overtook the reds with a 2-0 win over Everton. The result of the more illustrious club on Merseyside was therefore made more important, which was something that was eventually delivered.
Harvey Elliott was delighted to be a difference-maker again as the Reds ‘dug deep’ to overcome Burnley 3-1 at Anfield 🔴
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 10, 2024
Team Line-Up and Match Highlights
The Starting Eleven
GK – Caoimhin Kelleher
RB – Trent Alexander Arnold
RCB – Jarell Quansah
LCB – Virgil van Dijk (c)
LB – Andy Robertson
RCM – Alexis Mac Allister
CDM – Waturu Endo
LCM – Curtis Jones
RF – Diogo Jota
CF – Darwin Núñez
LF – Luis Díaz
Harvey Elliott – Trent Alexander Arnold (45 mins)
Cody Gakpo – Luis Díaz (82 mins)
Kostas Tsimikas – Andy Robertson (90+6 mins)
James McConnell – Alexis Mac Allister (90+6 mins)
Bobby Clark – Waturu Endo (90+6 mins)
Liverpool 1 – 0 Burnley
Diogo Jota (Trent Alexander Arnold) 31 mins
Liverpool 1 – 1 Burnley
Dara O’Shea (Josh Brownhill) 45 mins
Liverpool 2 – 1 Burnley
Luis Díaz – 45 mins
Liverpool 3 – 1 Burnley
Darwin Núñez (Harvey Elliott) 45 mins
Important Match Stats
Liverpool 71% – 29% Burnley
Liverpool 25 – 9 Burnley
Liverpool 30 – 12 Burnley
Liverpool 9 – 3 Burnley
Jurgen Klopp provides an update on Trent Alexander-Arnold after the Liverpool defender came off early against Burnley 📝 pic.twitter.com/w0j9nvtQYT
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 10, 2024
First Half Challenges and Opportunities
The opening period of this game was a slow and cumbersome period for the home side, which saw the visitors vibrant and energetic. An early opportunity had the reds skipper, Virgil van Dijk, bypassed before being saved by his back up keeper, Caoimhin Kelleher. The expected rhythm of the encounter failed to stabilize, as Liverpool possession was misplaced, patterns of play were misjudged, as Vincent Kompany and his merry men merely grew in confidence. Luckily for the Premier League title contenders, a decent corner kick was misjudged by James Trafford (in the away goal), before the Portuguese poacher, Diogo Jota, nodded home from close range. From this point until the 45th minute, control had been attained, as Liverpool looked to extend their lead beyond that solitary goal. Unfortunately for the expectant fan base, a well take corner found its way to Dara O’Shea, who powered home his unstoppable effort.
The half ended with the home side disillusioned, though in fairness, the visitors were good value for the 1-1 score line.
Second Half: A Tactical Shift
On resumption of the second half, Trent Alexander failed to reappear, which was later confirmed as a recurrence of his recent knee injury. The first half had been a difficult shift for the England star, which may have been due to the later diagnosed complain. Given the raft of absentees, Curtis Jones was ushered into the right back spot, as Harvey Elliott entered the fray onto the right of a midfield three. The change was the only logical alteration (given the limited replacements), one which was both positive and game changing.
Harvey Elliott has established himself as a vital introduction piece from the bench this season, something that may or may not suit the long-term desires of the England under-21 star. His infectious and explosive performance permitted Liverpool to regain their lead, as his wider role and productive nature allowed Luis Díaz to score his sides second goal. After a tense period of VAR inspection, the goal was given and that should have really been that.
Sadly, the relegation battlers remained relentless and at times, David Datro Fofana was unplayable. On two separate occasions, the vibrant forward strode through the hosts high line, before being either smothered or blocked off by the impressive frame of Caoimhin Kelleher. Jarrel Quansah remained impressive and the work rate could not be faulted. As the final section of the game opened up, an inevitable third goal finally arrived for the newly anointed league leaders. Another dangerous piece of attacking player by Harvey Elliott, resulted in a well-placed header from the Uruguayan raging bull, Darwin Núñez. At this point, the game ended as a contest and further changes were made to reward those coming on.
Concluding Thoughts and Looking Ahead
This was a game where only the result mattered. It is clear that some assets were under the weather, which forced selections that may not have been favoured against a fully fit roster. The manager reacted and his players fought to correct a lacklustre opening 45 minutes. A return to the summit of the Premier League, means that the fate of the title remains in the hands of one departing manager and his Liverpool v2.0.
Next up, Brentford away, where the opposition will not allow such an average performance to go unpunished.
Liverpool 4 – 1 Burnley