Nathaniel Phillips and Thiago Alcantara impressed while Sadio Mane was much-improved as Liverpool ran out 3-0 winners over Burnley on Wednesday.
Liverpool were hot off the gates and ought to have scored at least once, if not more times, in the early exchanges, only to be left undone by poor finishing. On the other end, Burnley had a couple of chances as well, but were just as profligate as their visitors. The deadlock was finally broken two minutes before half-time, as Roberto Firmino tapped Andrew Robertson’s low cross in from close range.
The goal was seemingly exactly what the Reds needed to get out of their slumber and early in the second half, they were two to the good when Nathaniel Phillips headed in Sadio Mane’s cross from close range. Phillips was then at hand to deny Burnley on the other end with a superb off-the-line clearance, which preserved the clean sheet for his side.
Liverpool finally went on to round off the win through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who scored his first goal of the season with a brilliant finish. The 3-0 win means Liverpool are now into the top four, with Leicester City behind them on goal difference. The Hard Tackle now runs the rule over Jurgen Klopp’s men.
Alisson Becker: 7/10
There were no goals this time around, but Alisson did what was required of him as part of his actual job, making 4 solid saves while being alert during aerial situations. Precise with the ball at his feet, the only time the Liverpool no. 1 misplaced a pass was on the odd occasion he went long.
Trent Alexander-Arnold: 7/10
Alexander-Arnold was not as heavily involved in the proceedings as he was last weekend, but this was still another promising display from the improving full-back. Ought to have had an assist, only to see Sadio Mane fluff his lines after meeting his delectable cross. Did well to keep Dwight McNeil at bay, winning each of his duels (4/4) while also making 4 clearances and interceptions each. Solid.
Nathaniel Phillips: 8/10
Phillips endured a difficult first quarter of the game, when Chris Wood seemed to have a measure of him. The youngster, though, steadily grew as the minutes wore on and even scored a fine goal with a thumping header. Made a game-high 9 clearances, one of which was off the line to deny Burnley smartly, while also winning an astonishing 13 duels. Top effort after a slow start.
⭐Man of the Match, Nat Phillips
⚽ Scored first career goal
🔴 Led Liverpool in the following categories:
🥇 Aerial duels pic.twitter.com/5iOlo8fCqj
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) May 19, 2021
Rhys Williams: 7/10
A far better performance from Rhys Williams after struggling against West Bromwich Albion. This time around against Burnley, the youngster looked much more composed, although there were still a couple of nervy moments from him. Made a staggering 8 clearances while also producing a big block to deny Matthew Lowton. Job well done.
Andrew Robertson: 7/10
Last week it was Alexander-Arnold, and this week, it was Robertson, who was more involved in attacks down the flanks. This rotation does bode well for Liverpool, who benefited from his joint-game high 4 key passes, with the Scot also grabbing the assist for the goals scored by Roberto Firmino and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Linked up well with Mane, including in the build-up to Phillips’ goal.
Thiago Alcantara: 8/10
Thiago has really stepped up in recent weeks and this was once again a step in the right direction. No player had more touches on the ball than him (108) and he recycled possession quite smartly, while being incisive with his passes. Having said that, he should have done better to convert a chance in the first half, which was the only con in a pro-laden performance.
The minutes are starting to pile up at this late a stage of the season and that really showed on Fabinho at Turf Moor. There were a few tired touches, although he still completed 93 percent of his attempted passes. Made 5 clearances as well, but lost 4 of his 6 duels on the flip side. Just one more game remains before the brilliant Brazilian gets a well-deserved rest.
Georginio Wijnaldum: 6/10
A game of hits and misses for Wijnaldum, although this was a much-improved showing in the context of a dismal season. The Dutchman remarkably completed each of his 54 attempted passes, but hardly carried an attacking threat. The major negative was that he was anonymous at times when Burnley took Liverpool on. Solid otherwise, for the most part.
Mohamed Salah: 6/10
After Harry Kane had failed to find the back of the net against Aston Villa earlier in the day, the ball was back in Salah’s court, as far as the Golden Boot race was concerned. The Egyptian, though, was in a similar touch as his rival, failing to keep even one of his four shots on target. Could have easily scored at least once on another day.
Roberto Firmino: 7/10
📊 | Roberto Firmino has now scored more Premier League goals for Liverpool than Fernando Torres. pic.twitter.com/BgIeWmiPVD
— The Anfield Buzz (@TheAnfieldBuzz) May 19, 2021
After a bit of a sub-par showing this past weekend, Firmino was once again in his elements against Burnley. A bundle of energy, the Brazilian international pulled his marker out of position in superb fashion at times, but there were a few sloppy touches on the ball and he lost possession 19 times. However, Firmino produced the goods to hand Liverpool the lead in the first half, in a crucial goal for him.
Sadio Mane: 7/10
The Player to Watch in our preview, Mane was the brightest spark on the pitch for Liverpool, constantly looking to make things happen in and around the Burnley box. Produced a game-high 4 key passes, all while keeping a respectable passing rate of 88 percent. However, his output in front of goal really needs to improve, with one of the misses from close range being rather ridiculous.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain: N/A
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) May 19, 2021
On for Firmino, Oxlade-Chamberlain had just two touches on the ball during his stay on the pitch, but did manage to score a goal with one of those, through a peach of a finish. Still, he did not play enough to warrant a rating. The goal, though, would have done his confidence a world of good.
James Milner: N/A
Sent on in place of Wijnaldum, Milner barely got a touch on the ball in the dying embers of the game.
Kostas Tsimikas: N/A
A rare introduction and on an even rarer appearance for Liverpool, Tsimikas helped see the game out.