Liverpool’s boisterous inception in Premier League had a tricky test last night when Jurgen Klopp, the Anfield boss, opted to rest a string of first-team regulars against Burnley at Turf Moor.
The Clarets, struggling deep down the league tally, were understandably desperate to drag themselves out of the drop zone. They chased the game from the very first whistle and their physicality, as well as combativeness all over the pitch, frustrated the Reds’ much-changed attacking third.
Jack Cork’s goal early in the second half jeopardized Liverpool’s unbeaten record in Premier League for a while. However, the Merseysiders responded pretty soon and went on scoring thrice to secure yet another uncomfortable but effective victory.
A few things, meanwhile, worked in favour of Klopp on Wednesday night and might be sighted as the reason of Liverpool’s turn around despite a dismal first 45 minutes.
Alisson Becker: The Messi of Goalkeepers
Liverpool splashed a gigantic £56m fee to rope in the former AS Roma custodian who has been labelled as ‘the Messi of goalkeepers‘ by ex-Giallorossi goalkeeping coach Roberto Negrisolo. The Brazilian has conceded only six times in the league and grabbed 9 clean sheets in 15 league outings exhibiting his immediate influence in Merseyside.
Alisson once again proved his worth against a headstrong Burnley side with a decisive save in stoppage time which could have made it all square. Instead, he collected the ball smartly to avoid a corner and found Daniel Sturridge with a spectacular throw seconds later. The Englishman quickly found Mohamed Salah and the Egyptian did exceptionally well to set it up for Xherdan Shaqiri to make it 3-1. The classic counter-attack, nevertheless, started from the Selecao ‘number 1’ who is making his presence known week in week out between the sticks that looked vulnerable in recent years.
Naby Keita too completed a high-profile summer move from RB Leipzig but was struggling to justify his reputation in early months. The Guinean, however, proved his critics wrong at Turf Moor and made all difference in the second half when the Reds had to react sharper. His dribbling, down the middle runs and relentless link-up football kept the Clarets backline on toes and also showcased his stunning shooting ability pretty similar to his Bundesliga stint.
Found himself denied by Joe Hart spectacularly and also saw his effort being cleared off the line late in the game. But his display last night must have relieved Jurgen Klopp who should now integrate him more into their starting XI.
Klopp’s Substitutes Doing The Trick
The flamboyant German has often been questioned for his daunting substitution strategy but has shown great game-reading traits so far this term while making changes. From Daniel Sturridge’s sensational late equalizer against Chelsea to Divock Origi’s bizarre winner in Merseyside derby – Klopp has been spot on with his substitution in conclusive moments.
His gamble paid off once again when he introduced Roberto Firmino in place of Origi and the Brazilian seemed to have scored with his first touch to accomplish the comeback on the road.