Burnley opened their Premier League account in some style as a pair of lethal strikes from their forwards Sam Vokes and Andre Gray gave the club their first win.
Vokes and Gray both scored their first goals in the top flight. Burnley displayed a spirited performance in front of their fans to bounce back from the opening day disappointment. Both goals came in the first half, and although Liverpool had plenty of possession, they could not land the killer blow and were punished for it by the Clarets. This match is proof that Liverpool’s defense is jittery and Burnley are by no means pushovers.
1. Liverpool’s defense is shaky and needs some serious restructuring.
While individually none of the defenders were bad, as a team they seem to be clueless. Starting from Nathaniel Clyne’s poor passing that led to the goal in the 2nd minute to Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan easing off from attackers and being less aggressive, everything showed that the back four was finding it hard to communicate and cope. Although in the second half they played with more flair as a team, the damage had already been done.
2. Coutinho shines, but inaccurate with his shots
The Brazilian was the brightest of the lot, cutting into the defense from the flanks and shooting at goal. Only, this time around, his accuracy was way below par. Out of eight shots taken by him, only one hit the target. However, as always, he showed good energy and skills and Liverpool will need more of that from all players.
3. The left back position poses a big problem for Liverpool
James Milner started at left back for Liverpool against Burnley, and clearly the position did not suit him. He is a natural winger and while there were few moments of real threat when he went forward, he wasn’t quick to get back into position. He did not provide much width and hardly created any chances. In the end, he was substituted in the 77th minute for Alberto Moreno who was able to provide the much needed width. But it was too little too late. Moreno has to pull up his socks and be at his best, else Liverpool’s vulnerability at left back is there for all too see.
4. Liverpool missed Mane’s presence
Sadio Mane provided extra pace and power to the team and his absence played a big role in Liverpool’s performance. Daniel Sturridge came in his place but the striker was given a wide role, where he was not able to fuction properly. Throughout the 60 minutes he was on the pitch, he tried to cut inside and drift into a more central area but his efforts did not bear any fruit. He did not have a single shot on target and was replaced by Divock Origi.
5. Burnley’s strike force looked lethal
The strike force of Sam Vokes and Andre Gray proved to be Liverpool’s undoing as they combined well for the first goal. Gray, who was the provider for that, scored the second with a cool finish. If they keep playing the way they did, they could form a lethal combination that can destroy any defence in the Premier League. They took advantage of a poor Liverpool defence and their finishing was excellent.