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Football News: Liverpool v Burnley - A Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v Burnley - A Liverpool Perspective
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Liverpool v Burnley A Liverpool Perspective


A difficult start that turned into a good result for the Reds, up against a team that gives its all but offers very little of quality. Burnley are extremely physical, overly physical, and are a prospect that can prove awkward for any team to deal with. They are happy to give up possession and drop deep looking for quick counters with high balls for their target men. It is unusual for the modern day teams to play that way, so it provides a new challenge for centre backs to cope with.

The team showed patience and control, never let their heads drop and kept doing what they do to break down a very well organised and compact defence. It would have been easy to lose their heads when the referee made such a bad call over the goal, but they just knuckled down after an initial moan at the officials.

Once the equaliser went it in, it felt like only a matter of time before the lead would be Liverpool's and they never seemed under any threat of losing it except for a few seconds after Burnley scored their second.

The wind was a huge factor and both teams struggled to pass at times and the ball was very difficult for any of the players to control or pass it accurately. Because of that I am not going to add or subtract anything from ratings for passing. In fact the wind was probably the biggest factor in the game.


Dyche - his insistence on using pure physicality to try and unsettle opposing teams can pay off against some, but it is no longer leveling the playing field against teams like Liverpool. All it does is leave his players throwing themselves into challenges and a gap is left to be exploited. Dyche had tried to change it in the early part of the season, but it was not working because he was doing it in every game. What he needs to do is learn to have different approaches for different opponents. Rating: 2.5.


Heaton - I think he must have read the discussion Ed004 and myself had on the editor's widget about how he should be the England No 1 and let it go to his head, because he had a stinker of a game. Normally he is extremely reliable and an excellent shot stopper but he had the worst game I have seen him have. Not just his shot stopping which was off, but his distribution was too. Rating: 2.


Bardsley - he certainly tries but he just lacks the absolute quality at the top end. He was utterly unable to cope with Mane, who was just too good for him. Rating: 2.5.


Tarkowski - a decent one on one defender and strong in the air, oh and very good at holding people down while he jumps for headers, but another one who just lacks real quality. His lack of positional sense saw him struggle to keep out Liverpool's attackers. Rating: 3.


Mee - much the better half of Burnley's centre half pairing but even he could not prevent LFC from scoring. In fact he was given the run around by the attack almost all game. Rating: 3.5.


Taylor - actually did fairly well but luck was not on his side. Then, at the end of the game, he finally got into a position to make a different going forward and he wasted the opportunity. Shame because he had been run ragged by Salah but still managed to play as well as could be expected. Rating: 5.


Hendrick - I am really not sure what he offers out wide. Very little from what I have seen, particularly in this match. Most of the time he was caught napping defensively. Rating: 2.


Westwood - put the corner for their first goal into an extremely dangerous area and got lucky that the referee made the wrong decision. An unbelievably bad decision but the chance for that decision was due to his well hit and aimed corner in rough conditions. Other than that he did not have a big effect on the game, it pretty much passed him by. Rating: 3.5.


Cork - he is being used in a more box-to-box role than his usual holding role and he just lacks mobility against the better sides. He and Westwood are usually up against 3 players in there and they get overrun. Gave his all and did what he could, but he needed help. Rating: 5.


McNeil - their one consistent attacking threat, he took advantage of Alexander-Arnold's laxity in defence to get forward almost at will. They just lacked numbers to make anything of his runs down their left. Rating: 6.5.


Barnes - if he tried as hard to get the ball as he does to get the man, he might actually be a good player. The technique is there and the composure but he is so intent on throwing his weight around that the ball becomes almost incidental at times. Rating: 3.


Wood - their most potent attacker but he got no service to really make use of him. Rating: 2.



Berg Gudmundsson - replaced Hendrick in the 79th minute. Provided a couple of moments for them, including their second. Rating: 6.

Crouch - took the place of Wood in the 79th minute. Apart from the reception he got, he may as well have not been there as he struggled to get near the ball. Rating: 5.

Vydra - brought on in the 86th minute to replace Barnes. Waste of a substitution really. Rating: 4.


Klopp - made some surprising choices, not just starting with Lallana but his choice of subs were unexpected. It worked though and the team performed well, despite conceding an early goal. There were no signs of pressure or fatigue either, which is a very good sign for this point in the season. Rating: 7.5.


Alisson - after getting fouled on their first corner, he made sure to sort out protection for the second one. He did take a bit long on the ball for my liking and that little flick to the side put my heart in my mouth, but, on the whole he dealt well with the wind, when he could have been Pickforded. Er I mean embarrassed. Rating: 7.5.


Alexander-Arnold - was always a threat going forwards but struggled defensively. He stood too far off McNeil, allowing the winger space to beat him. In the dying embers of the game he did get tight and took the ball. Hopefully he will learn from that. Rating: 6.5.


Matip - much better performance from him, he did not allow himself to be baited into making runs forward and, inevitably, give the ball away. He still worried me on the ball, he always seems to think he has more time than he really does. Rating: 6.5.


van Dijk - imperious. One thing that did catch my eye was how well he and Matip worked together really well. They have not looked a comfortable partnership in recent games, but in this one they worked well. It was very evident that they had been working on developing their understanding. Rating: 7.5.


Robertson - forced Hendrick back and dominated that flank almost totally, though it was in large part down to Mane. Robertson looked more like himself. Linked up well down the flank causing them real problems. Rating: 7.5.


Wijnaldum - not his best performance of the season, but he did play fairly well, it just seemed he was a little bit off from the level he has been performing at sometimes this season. Rating: 7.


Fabinho - another in a string of strong performances from the Brazilian. He is becoming a key part of the team, if he is not already one. Rating: 7.5.


Lallana - excellent game. Lallana started the press and led it. He was a surprising choice, but it turned out to be the right one. Rating: 8.5.


Mane - two goals and had their defence tied up in knots. He was unplayable, not because of his dribbling skills but because of his movement and workrate, which was exceptional. The Burnley defence had absolutely no idea where he was. Rating: 8.5.


Salah - as always with Salah, even when he is not scoring he is causing mayhem for opponents. Players are constantly dragged around by his movement and he never allows them to settle down for a second. Without him creating space and confusion the rest of the team would struggle to score the goals. Rating: 8.5.


Firmino - he needed those goals as he has not been scoring as many as he should have been. He was excellent yesterday, as well as the two goals he did his usual of being involved in everything and at the heart of everything the team do. Rating: 8.5.



Henderson - replaced Wijnaldum in the 68th minute. Struggled to get into the game until moved to right back. It was not really a game that played to his strengths to be honest, but he did at least do his best. Rating: 5.5.

Keita - was brought on instead of Lallana in the 77th minute. He also struggled to get into the game, he showed good movement but never saw enough of the ball. Rating: 5.5.

Sturridge - suprisingly chosen to replace Alexander-Arnold in the 86th minute. He was more of a hindrance than a help until he received the ball and played it in for the last goal. That showed he still has ability and vision to pick a pass. Rating: 5.


Just to explain my ratings. I have gone for what I believe is more simple than the usual of totting up points. I have decided to go with 5 as having no effect on the game other than being a body on the pitch. Anything below 5 is a player who had a negative effect on his team and anything above 5 as a positive effect. So a goal scored would be a positive effect and add to the rating, whereas giving away a penalty with a needless challenge would take away from it.

Written by Tris Burke March 12 2019 09:47:24


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