Premier League • England

Unlikely figure continues remarkable streak as Liverpool survive Burnley onslaught

Liverpool midfielder Fabinho celebrating with Sadio Mane after scoring against Burnley

The unlikely figure of Fabinho scored his fifth goal in seven matches across all competitions as Liverpool survived a Burnley onslaught to take all three points at Turf Moor.

Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah returned to Liverpool’s starting eleven with Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota making way, Jota’s relegation to the bench was surprising after his two-goal display in midweek, though Jurgen Klopp confirmed pre-match that the Portuguese had struggled with a dead leg in training on Friday.

Liverpool controlled the bulk of possession in the early going, and caused countless problems without actually troubling Nick Pope. Salah came within a whisker of converting an Andy Robertson cross, but the howling wind blew the ball just out of reach.

At the other end and amid the driving rain, Burnley wasted little time testing Liverpool’s rearguard when pushing the ball forward as soon as possible. However, the Clarets forwards were continually foiled by the offside trap.

Liverpool saw vociferous appeals for a penalty turned down when Wout Weghorst appeared to foul Salah in the box following a corner. The play was allowed to continue, with Weghorst spurning a gilt-edged chance at the other end that would’ve stood after VAR ruled against awarding of a penalty.

Burnley were creating the better of the chances despite their limited possession. Jay Rodriguez should’ve found the net after latching on to a free-kick, but the quick reactions of Alisson helped to smother to strike.

End-to-end at Turf Moor

Liverpool finally tested Pope through Naby Keita and Sadio Mane, while Weghorst missed another chance on the break. With half an hour played, it was a miracle the scores remained 0-0.

And five minutes before half time, the stalemate was finally broken through Fabinho.

Sadio Mane stooped to flick on Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner. Fabinho arrived like a train to prod the ball goalward with Pope producing a reaction stop. But the keeper could only parry straight back to Fabinho who stabbed home at the second time of asking.

Liverpool emerged with a greater sense of control after the break. Jurgen Klopp will have been concerned by the number and quality of chances Burnley created in the first half, and tasked his charges with steadying the ship in the first 15 minutes.

Thiago Alcantara replaced Jordan Henderson as Klopp sprung his first change. The Liverpool skipper has received treatment on his knee in the first half and the German boos took no chances with such a stellar option waiting in the wings.

Yet despite Liverpool’s effort to quell the Clarets, Burnley remained a potent threat, particularly through Weghorst.

Klopp warns Salah, Mane and Diaz of high standards

Klopp warns Salah, Mane and Diaz of high standards

Jurgen Klopp warns Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz over high standards at Liverpool

It came as a stark disappointment to see the new centre-forward forcibly replaced after picking up a knee injury. Sean Dyche will be sweating on the extent of his layoff after Weghorst landed awkwardly on his left knee.

His exit blunted a Burnley attack that had threatened to produce an upset all afternoon, with Liverpool looking the likelier to score in the closing stages.

Substitute Jota shot narrowly wide after Salah’s pass was marginally under-hit. But it mattered not as Liverpool kept the door shut to secure a crucial three points at Turf Moor.

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