Alisson Becker and Trent Alexander-Arnold were sub-par as Liverpool suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to Burnley at Anfield on Thursday.
In a match wherein clear-cut chances came few and far between, Burnley got the first opening coming their way thank to Alisson Becker, whose spill allowed Ashley Barnes to have a sight at goal, only to be denied by the Liverpool goalkeeper. It was all Liverpool thereafter, although they hardly troubled Nick Pope.
The Reds’ best chance of the first half came through Divock Origi, who was sent clean through on goal following a botched clearance by Ben Mee. The Belgian striker, though, could only smash the crossbar from his effort and was later rightly hooked off for Roberto Firmino. Post the interval, it was more of the same.
Trent Alexander-Arnold did force Pope into a fine stop, with Salah also doing the same from an identical spot. Burnley, though, had the last laugh late on, as Ashley Barnes won a penalty for being tripped by Alisson before converting from the spot to seal all three points and end Liverpool’s 1369-day unbeaten run at Anfield. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Alisson Becker: 3/10
A night when he was hardly tested, with Burnley managing just 4 shots on target. The Liverpool goalkeeper did make one fine save to deny Ashley Barnes, but was also guilty of spilling the ball early on and lucky not to be punished. The worst moment of the night, though, came in the form of his poorly-timed challenge to give the penalty away and in effect, hand the win to Burnley.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 3/10
Trent Alexander-Arnold attempted 18 open-play crosses for Liverpool vs. Burnley (0% success-rate), the only player in the PL across the last five seasons to not complete a single cross with 12+ attempts in a game.
No player has attempted more crosses in a PL game this season. pic.twitter.com/pMsZscon7e
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 21, 2021
A season to forget goes from bad to worse for Alexander-Arnold. The English international had the most touches on the ball on Thursday, but did very little with it. In fact, Alexander-Arnold lost the ball more times (39) than anyone has in a single game this season and completed just 1 of the 22 crosses he attempted. Nothing is going right for him this season and it’s high time he steps up.
Joel Matip: 6/10
Back in the starting lineup for the first time in nearly a month, Matip was the best Liverpool defender on the night. The Cameroonian made a couple of vital interventions and looked to move his side forward at a quick tempo. Did all he could in his power to help the hosts keep a clean sheet but it just was not to be.
Solid enough for the most part, Fabinho hardly put a foot wrong on the night and dealt with the little threat that the Burnley strikers posed in a largely effective manner. Was caught in a hairy moment on the stroke of half-time, but VAR rightly deemed it not to be red card worthy offence. However, he lost Barnes before he won the penalty and should have done better to track him.
Andrew Robertson: 5/10
Liverpool’s full-backs were afforded plenty of opportunities to put in dangerous crosses from their respective flanks on Thursday. And while Robertson was not as wasteful as Alexander-Arnold on the right wing, his deliveries, too, were not as threatening as they can be. To make matters worse, he lost the ball an alarming 24 times.
Xherdan Shaqiri: 5.5/10
A bright spark moving forward at times, Shaqiri did not shy away from taking his chances and also looked to make things happen. Did engineer a couple of half chances, but his shots were wayward. Is linking up nicely with those around him, but Shaqiri needs to step up a notch to really nail down his spot in the side.
Thiago Alcantara: 5/10
The Liverpool midfielders were well off their best against Burnley and Thiago was no different. The Spanish international looked to pull the strings from a deeper position on the pitch – and did play in 3 key passes. However, he was also a bit too wasteful on the ball at times. Solid enough in the defensive phases, though.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 5/10
A game of hits and misses for Wijnaldum, who donned the armband for Liverpool in the absence of Jordan Henderson. The Dutchman did show some neat touches and created a couple of chances, including one for Mohamed Salah, but he was also slow to move the ball forward at times. Needs to do better as the senior player in the team.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: 4/10
Making only his second Premier League start of the season, Oxlade-Chamberlain was as ineffective as he has ever been in a Liverpool shirt. Hardly involved during his time on the pitch, the English international’s aversion to playing on the wings was vindicated as he just could not manage to get up to the pace of the game. Hooked off for ahead of the hour mark.
Divock Origi: 4/10
Handed his first Premier League start of the season, this was Origi’s chance to prove his naysayers wrong. Alas, he did not grab his opportunity with both hands. After being isolated for much of the opening quarter of the game, the Belgian forced Pope to make a couple of regulation saves.
The worst of his efforts, though, came ahead of half-time as he inexplicably rattled the crossbar when he had no one but the Burnley goalkeeper to beat when clean through on goal. With a transfer being mooted for this month, it will not be surprising to see Liverpool moving him on.
— BenchWarmers (@BeWarmers) January 21, 2021
Sadio Mane: 6/10
By far the best of the lot going forward for Liverpool. Mane can be termed as a tad bit unlucky, considering he played in a game-high 9 key passes only for none of them to be converted. Having said that, his end product in front of goal left a lot to be desired on the night and he was shut off well by the Burnley defenders as the game progressed.
Mohamed Salah: 6/10
On for the ineffective Oxlade-Chamberlain, Salah provided that spark from the right wing that was missing for Liverpool for the first hour or so. The Egyptian winger did force Pope into a fine save, but could have done better when a snapshot opportunity came his way late on.
Roberto Firmino: 5/10
On for Origi, Firmino settled into his usual central role but hardly did anything of note. Had two chances coming his way but each of his efforts ended up being wayward. Increasingly in need of some inspiration.
Takumi Minamino: N/A
A late introduction, Minamino did not have enough time to make an impact.