Match Review: Liverpool 3-1 Burnley

LFC Liverpool FC Fans watching the game at Toronto Pub
  • Families gathered at OLSC Supporters Pub in Burlington - The Slye Fox

Match Review: Liverpool 3-1 Burnley

Harvey Elliot was born just outside London but it’s more likely it is the Red Scouser blood type that’s flowing through his veins.

His boundless energy and enthusiasm nicely complement his willingness to run into a brick wall for the Redmen.

After he scored at Wolves last September, he deliberately jumped into the away stands to get mobbed by the Liverpool supporters. Three months later, when he clinched the 3 points at Crystal Palace in Mentality Monster style, his natural reaction was to dash towards the travelling Kop to boisterously celebrate once more.

His undoubted love for our club also extends to his family. His dad got emotional in the Anfield Main Stand when a then 18-year-old Harvey scored his first Liverpool goal during an FA Cup tie against Cardiff in February 2022.

Fast forward 2 years from that touching moment. The introduction of Elliott during the second half against Burnley made all the difference between 1 and 3 points for the Merseysiders.

He did not score but his work in midfield and his 2 left-footed crosses from the right flank assisted Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez in reclaiming top spot of the Premier League table from Man City.

The Citizens had leapfrogged us in their early Saturday kick-off against Everton. Therefore the pressure was then on Liverpool to overturn that with a much-needed rebound from last weekend’s disappointing game at Arsenal.

It was perhaps this pressure which explained a rather pedestrian first half by Liverpool. 

Or was it the absence of several players through injury? Or a once-bitten, twice-shy mindset after the bad day at the office last Sunday?

Whatever the reason, it took half an hour for the game to get going. Until then, only a spate of half-baked attempts could be found on the menu.

Liverpool opened the score with the most straightforward corner. Burnley keeper James Trafford misjudged the flight path of the ball and Diogo Jota made the most of it, connecting with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s delivery to head in.

The pace finally quickens

By then, the Redmen appeared to have gathered some spring in their steps as they launched more credible attempts for the remainder of the first half.

So, it was against the run of play that Burnley equalized in the 45th minute, again through a corner. Dara O’Shea powered in a header beyond the reach of Caoimhin Kelleher who was standing in for the flu-stricken Alisson Becker.

At half-time, Trent felt a recurrence of his knee injury and was replaced by Elliot. The 20-year-old immediately spiced up the proceedings as he raised the energy level amongst the home side.

It took only 7 minutes of the second half for Elliot to cross from the right for Diaz to finish with a diving header despite a slight deflection off Maxime Esteve.

From now on, it was mostly one-way traffic for Liverpool albeit a couple of attempts from Fofana, one of which drew an incredible save from Kelleher.

Although the Reds’ control of the match was barely put into question, a third goal was needed to put the game to bed finally.

This duly arrived in the 79th minute on another corner. Elliot was able to cross from the second ball and Nunez scored the third goal with a header which was technically difficult to execute as he had to lean backwards while in the air.

Much needed rebound

After 4 long-range strikes against Fulham last December, it’s now been 3 headers to win it against Burnley. 

Credit to the Clarets for not coming to Anfield with parking the bus in mind despite their current 19th place in the EPL table. 

To the best of their abilities, they gave Liverpool a proper game. The Reds greatly needed that to get the Emirates' huge disappointment of last Sunday out of their system. Or, in the immortal words of one Talyor Swift, to "shake it off." 

We also welcome back Wataru Endo who picked up where he left, bossing the defensive midfield as if he had never been away for one month.

With the Japanese back in the team, Alexis Mac Allister was able to push forward in his favoured Number 8 role but he was somewhat disappointingly under par this time, especially given how creative he can be in creating chances for the forward line.

Jarrell Quansah replaced the suspended Iboue Konate and true to his self, it cannot be recalled that he did anything wrong. He even had a pop at goal in the 72nd minute but the ball flew agonisingly wide.

So, it’s now like we are back to a good old-fashioned title race with Man City with possibly Arsenal getting in the mix to muddy the waters.

Exciting times ahead especially when the Anfield Road stand has now finally opened to full capacity. The attendance for the Burnley match was a shade below 61,000 for the first time since Bob Paisley and Billy Liddell were playing for Liverpool.

We cannot wait for louder crowd noise at our beloved storied ground especially during top-of-the-table games and famous European nights.

Jurgen Klopp has already set the tone to ratchet up the atmosphere with his famous fist pumps towards not one, not two but three sides of the stadium after the Burnley game.

Now, who would not be so glad that he is a Red?

Mike Chung.