Fabinho, Andrew Robertson and Curtis Jones were the only positives as Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Burnley on Saturday afternoon.
Liverpool were dominant from the get-go, but were unable to break the deadlock in the first half an hour, thanks to the heroics by Nick Pope, who twice denied Mohamed Salah with splendid saves. The Reds, though, were finally ahead in the 34th minute, when Andrew Roberton headed in from a Fabinho long ball, with a diving Pope seeing the ball sail past him.
It was more of the same in the remainder of the game, but the scores were levelled midway through the second period, as Jay Rodriguez produced a stunning finish to make it 1-1. Burnley then went on to hold Liverpool to the draw, as the newly-crowned Premier League champions dropped points at Anfield for the first time this term. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Alisson Becker: 6/10
In what was a largely quiet game, Alisson was rarely called into action. In fact, the Brazilian had more punched more to make and work to do with hands than he did with his feet. His efforts, though, were crucial in restricting Burnley’s output. Could not have done much to deny Jay Rodriguez.
Neco Williams: 6.5/10
Starting a second successive game for the Liverpool first-team, Williams got a chance to play in his favoured right-back slot. The youngster was a constant outlet down the right flank when Liverpool were in control of the game; but, his output needs to improve drastically after completing just 1 of the 6 crosses he attempted.
At the back, the young defender was not troubled a great deal, with Dwight McNeil hardly managing to get the better of him. Taken off a little while before Burnley scored the equaliser.
Joe Gomez: 5/10
Gomez started the game strongly, as a fine pass set up an early chance for Liverpool. However, the young centre-back slowly started fading away, which is bizarre considering he was rarely called into action by the Burnley attack. Still, there were a couple of instances when the Englishman was switched off and he lost the ball cheaply a few times as well. Needs to step up.
Virgil van Dijk: 6.5/10
For much of the game, van Dijk was his typical unassuming self, dominating the aerial battle and keeping Chris Wood quiet. In all, the Dutchman won 6/7 aerial duels. However, like Gomez, he gave the ball away needlessly, with his usually precise passing nowhere to be seen – he completed only 81 percent of his passes. Should have arguably reacted quicker to stop Rodriguez from scoring.
Andrew Robertson: 7.5/10
One of the better performers for Liverpool. Robertson had an eventful first half, wherein he scored a goal, created an opening for Liverpool and almost had an assist. His goal was right at the top drawer as Robertson curled the ball after meeting Fabinho’s searching pass with his head. The strike was just perfect, which was exactly the kind of shot that could beat Nick Pope on the day.
14 – Andrew Robertson is the 14th Liverpool player to score a league goal at Anfield this season, only in 1992-93 (15, excluding own-goals) have they had more different players score at home in a Premier League campaign. House. pic.twitter.com/W2kwkTPx6W
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 11, 2020
The Scotsman saw a lot of the ball, but his threat waned as the game progressed. In fact, only 1 of his 14 attempted crosses was successful. Also looked a little wobbly in the defensive phase once Johann Berg Gudmundsson was introduced.
Curtis Jones: 7.5/10
Handed his first Premier League start, Jones looked purposeful with his forays deep into the Burnley half. His runs off the ball carried a lot of threat as the youngster often ghosted into the box, although his end product still has some way to go. Positive signs still, as Jones does not seem to be lacking in confidence.
Back into the side, Fabinho’s role was important in the absence of the injured Jordan Henderson. The Brazilian did his job to perfection for large parts of the game, hardly letting the Burnley attack bypass him. The best aspect of his performance, though, were his accurate long balls, which opened up play beautifully.
One such long ball precisely found Robertson, whose first-time header resulted in Liverpool’s only goal in the game. Off the ball, he stepped into positions where holes needed to be plugged. Quite easily the standout player for Liverpool.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5/10
To start off, Wijnaldum was his typical energetic self, appearing all over the pitch as per the demands of the game. The Dutchman kept things simple as well, misplacing just 4 passes all game. However, as the minutes ticked by, the match started to pass him by, with his influence decreasing significantly. Has been off colour for some time now.
Mohamed Salah: 5.5/10
For much of the first half, it looked like any goal that Liverpool score would come from Salah’s boots. But, the Egyptian was denied marvellously by the resolute Pope, who made a couple of top class saves to keep his efforts out.
Had a couple of fine chances coming his way in the second half as well, but he could only snatch at them, with the last one being a simple effort for him. Salah needs to regroup quickly if he is to continue his charge for the Golden Boot.
Roberto Firmino: 6.5/10
A game of hits and misses for Firmino. The Brazilian, who made an astounding 6 key passes, created a couple of fine chances, only for Pope to deny his teammates. Firmino had an opportunity to score himself but hit the post, meaning his Anfield duck in the Premier League is still not broken this season. Continued giving it his all right till the end, though, and worked hard off the ball.
Sadio Mane: 6.5/10
Mane was a little slow off the blocks, growing into the game after the first 20 minutes or so. But, the Senegalese was another who was denied by the monstrous Pope, who hardly let anything past him. However, once Burnley equalised, Mane dramatically faded, which played its part in Liverpool limping towards the draw.
Naby Keita: 5/10
On for a tiring Jones, Keita provided an energetic burst after being subbed in. However, hardly anything he did came off and he fizzled out quickly.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 5/10
Replacing Williams, it was expected that Alexander-Arnold’s introduction would help Liverpool’s faltering creative output. However, the young full-back could not do much to help his team’s cause, only completing 1/4 crosses he attempted.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: N/A
A late addition into the game, Oxlade-Chamberlain was purposeful and did not shy away from looking for a scoring opportunity from range. Nothing materialised, though.