Reds’ Returnees Shine in Liverpool’s Victory Over Burnley

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Jurgen Klopp’s Returning Reds Lead Liverpool to Victory Over Burnley

Liverpool put their pursuit of the Premier League title back on track with a hugely important 3-1 victory over Burnley on Saturday. Goals from Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez helped secure the three points for the Reds, but it was two returning players that caught the eye.

Both Wataru Endo and Andy Robertson returned to the starting lineup for the first time in months and impressed massively. Endo only returned from the Asia Cup during the week and was put straight into the starting lineup, whilst Andy Robertson made his first start since recovering from a serious shoulder injury back in October.

The duo were standout performers in the 3-1 victory, but what was it that they done so well?

Photo: IMAGO

Wataru the Warrior’s Return

Prior to his departure to the Asia Cup, Endo had started to become a pivotal part of Jurgen Klopp’s midfield plans. However, since his time away from the club, Alexis Mac Allister really proved his worth at the base of the midfield, too.

But this had no impact on Klopp’s team selection on Saturday, with Endo making an immediate return alongside Mac Allister and Curtis Jones. Although that decision may have caused a slight drop in Mac Allister’s performance, Endo looked like his usual self.

The midfielder was always available to receive the ball, having 84 touches and completing 60 out of his 68 attempted passes, with a success rate of 88%. Two of those passes were key passes, with one of those creating a big chance. Endo’s ability on the ball is frequently overlooked, but he has become an integral part of Liverpool’s aim to break the lines with intelligent passes.

Endo’s defensive work was as brilliant as always, providing a solid cover in front of the back four. The 30-year-old won more ground duels than any other player on the pitch, with seven, and even won two aerial duels. On top of this, he made four tackles, two clearances and one block.

Jurgen’s Flying Scotsman

Andy Robertson provided a completely different dimension to Liverpool’s play on Saturday, in his first start since October. In his absence, both Kostas Tsimikas and Joe Gomez performed brilliantly but the general consensus is that the Scotsman is still Klopp’s first choice left-back.

Photo: IMAGO

The 29-year-old put in a solid performance in his return and with injuries to Tsimikas and Trent Alexander-Arnold, Robertson could put together a run of games at left-back. Against Burnley, the full-back offered plenty in terms of controlling the game, with 102 touches. Only Virgil Van Dijk and Jarrell Quansah had more touches in the game than Robertson.

Robertson completed 59 of his 66 attempted passes, with a completion rate of 89%. Five of those passes were classed as key passes, whilst he also created one big chance in the game. The defender was fairly impressive defensively too, winning four of his six ground duels throughout the game.

What Next?

With the injuries to Dominik Szoboszlai, Thiago Alcantara and Stefan Bajcetic, expect to see Endo featuring regularly in Liverpool’s midfield over the next few weeks. Whether that means that Alexis Mac Allister will be moved into the eight positions, is yet to be seen but with Ryan Gravenberch’s poor form, it’s definitely possible.

Simiarly, Robertson is expected to become a regular fixture in Klopp’s starting elevens over the next few weeks. With Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kostas Tsimikas sidelined with injuries, Gomez and Robertson will likely be the full-back partnership. Youngster Conor Bradley will provide competition for the two defensive spots.

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