Liverpool defeated Burnley 3-1 to reclaim the top spot in the Premier League in front of a record crowd at Anfield.
Erling Haaland’s double in Manchester City’s 2-0 victory against Everton had put the Reds ahead of them earlier in the day, but 59,896 spectators roared Jurgen Klopp’s team back in top by two points.
However, Burnley, who were seven points from safety, gave them a serious worry after Dara O’Shea’s incredible header at a corner just before halftime had put the hosts ahead thanks to Diogo Jota.
Early in the second half, Luis Diaz gave Liverpool the lead again, but the goal was flagged for offside after a protracted VAR review. Additionally, Burnley manager Vincent Kompany may have fouled Aaron Ramsey during the build-up, resulting in a booking.
David Datro Fofona, a Chelsea loanee, then squandered two excellent opportunities to tie the score for Burnley before Darwin Nunez headed a late header into the left corner to seal the victory.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said: “I can really imagine how Vincent Kompany is feeling right now because they did a lot of good stuff and made it really uncomfortable for us.
“But in general, besides the first 15 minutes, when we were in a rush and we played too early, they had counter-attacks and situations and that was a problem. Then we calmed it down and scored wonderful goals.
“We knew at half-time what we had to do. We were in control but we had to change Trent Alexander-Arnold and are short on defenders. Curtis Jones did incredibly well, like Harvey Elliott did when he came on.
“It was a difficult game with strange circumstances. It’s just with all the things that happened with players out, the goalkeeper stepping aside, it was the perfect afternoon – besides the Trent thing obviously.”
On Trent Alexander-Arnold’s injury: “Same area in the knee. Nothing really bad but he felt it again and we have to see. We will assess it. We were made aware of it in the game so thought, ‘What can we do’ then Trent said, ‘No it’s fine’. But it’s not as he feels it so we had to be careful and take him off.”
On title race: “I know it’s every week. You add in Tottenham – who got a big win for them today. Villa play tomorrow. They are all in the mix and Arsenal.
“Two weeks ago we had the perfect squad situation. Two weeks later we are short in each area. Like, wow. It all can happen. We all need luck to get through it when you don’t have that, you have to fight through it.”
On Joe Gomez and Alisson absences: “We thought Joe Gomez would be back but he had a temperature yesterday so we had to send him home. Alisson felt unwell, couldn’t sleep or eat really so that’s not helpful.”
On his yellow card: “It was emotional, definitely. Imagine in this game the referee had a blue card available. It would have been the wild west. There were so many yellow cards today. I had no clue why Vincent Kompany got it. I lost it in that situation so fine, give me a yellow card. As long as I don’t get a blue one and have to sit somewhere for 10 minutes.”
Burnley boss Vincent Kompany said: “It was as good as a performance as you need to have a chance of getting a result somewhere like Anfield. There were lots of positives. We will always feel disappointed about the result but the message to the team is we keep growing. Every day of the week we need to continue with that belief.
“It wasn’t just those two chances. In the first half, we had many moments where we broke and could have finished with a one-on-one so it’s the final ball and final details. They have good players too. You need a little something going your way and there was not enough of that today for us to get a result.
“I understand from Liverpool’s perspective, they are always awkward games. There is an expectation from fans to see those games off early and to have a little bit of a quiet afternoon but that’s something we can benefit from. I’ve been on the other side many times and know how awkward these things can be. We made it difficult and these types of performances can’t remain unrewarded in the future.
“It’s in moments like this that you show what you are made of. I have my eyes wide open and don’t want to hide away from toughness. We do ourselves proud and our fans proud. People can tell you what you don’t achieve in life, but they don’t say what you still can achieve.”
On his yellow card: “I’d say it’s a little bit to do with the game. I think I got booked because I should have paid attention to the fact that Jurgen Klopp got booked because then all I think the referee did was just went looking for me.
“I opened my arms out which I have done exactly that in many games. Then all of a sudden the card comes out. Out of nothing. Now I am suspended for the next game. I should have known it was just a way to balance it out and it doesn’t make sense, but hey, we have to keep going. No sulking.”
Liverpool travel Brentford next on Saturday while Burnley host Arsenal on the same day.
Other posts by Hiresh