LIVERPOOL 3-1 BURNLEY: Goals from Diogo Jota, Luis Díaz and Darwin Núñez have returned Jurgen Klopp’s men to the top of the Premier League ahead of Manchester City
Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League thanks to a convincing 3-1 victory over Burnley on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds came into the game looking to bounce back from last weekend’s defeat to title rivals Arsenal, but got off to a slow start at Anfield.
It was Diogo Jota who provided Liverpool’s much-needed spark on the half-hour, heading into an empty net after James Trafford was left floating in the air following Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner. However, that lead was short-lived as Dara O’Shea restored parity on the stroke of half-time.
Luis Diaz restored Liverpool’s lead with a close-range header seven minutes after the restart before Darwin Nunez scored late to put Jurgen Klopp’s men back on top.
Núñez receives his reward
Somehow, Nunez failed to find the back of the net in Liverpool’s recent 4-1 win over Chelsea.
Not only did he miss a penalty against the Blues, but he was denied by the post on no less than four different occasions. But the master of chaos finally got his reward in front of goal on Saturday after another action-packed display.
Nunez, like Liverpool’s first goalscorer Jota, was a constant nuisance for Burnley throughout the afternoon, but looked like he was going to be blanked for the third game in a row before he scored late on, and he was also good value thus.
Is there currently a more entertaining player to watch in the Premier League than Núñez? He doesn’t always get it right, but he’s always dangerous and in the mix, and that’s why Liverpool fans love him.
Jota steps forward, again
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There is no doubt that Mohamed Salah is Liverpool’s star player, but Jota has done a good job filling in for the Egyptian in recent weeks.
The Portuguese poacher had scored four goals and provided two assists in five games before Burnley’s visit, and was in the right place at the right time to break the deadlock on Saturday afternoon.
Jota had plenty of opportunities to score what would have been his 100th goal in English football before referee Tim Robinson also called time on the game.
After breaking up the untouchable trio of Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, Jota had fallen slightly off the radar due to injury problems. He is now fully fit and firing again, and I could hardly have timed his return to fitness better.
Kelleher proves Klopp’s point
Caoimhin Kelleher was boldly dubbed the “best number 2 in the world” by his manager after starring in Liverpool’s Carabao Cup triumph over Chelsea in 2022. And just a couple of weeks after that exact same match was replayed, the Irishman proved Klopp’s point.
Drafted in to replace Alisson, who like Joe Gomez missed through illness, Kelleher had to be on his toes from the first minute as Burnley started well. The Clarets’ early goal didn’t test the 25-year-old too much, but he was ready to run to deny Zeki Amdouni in the ninth minute and held firm to frustrate David Datro Fofana after the break.
Kelleher has already started 13 games this season – a career high. And while he may not have ended the afternoon with a clean sheet, it underlined why Klopp trusts him so much.
Kompany’s bad streak continues
Vincent Kompany never won at Anfield as a Manchester City player and he is not doing much better as a manager either.
His team made a promising start and took advantage of their goal just before half-time to restore parity, but had no answer to Liverpool’s attack in the second half.
With Sheffield United beating Luton, Burnley are now bottom of the Premier League having won just three games all season. They looked decent at Anfield, but style won’t save them from the drop. The points will come, but they have been hard to come by all season.
Klopp’s fitting end is underway
Yes, there are no such things as fairy tales, but when it comes to Klopp’s final season as Liverpool manager, the most fitting ending seems to be underway.
For the man who ended the Reds’ agonizing 30-year title drought, walking off into the sunset with another Premier League crown would be the perfect send-off, even if not many would have tipped Liverpool to win the league or Klopp to announce it. he retires in the summer.
Liverpool 2.0 have swept teams this season, but needed courage and resilience to get a result against Burnley. And results like this could make the difference come May, when Klopp looks for one last memorable hurrah.
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