Liverpool ease to comfortable win at Burnley

Luke Bradshaw
Sports Writer
Firmino and Salah celebrate Liverpool's third goal (Photo by REUTERS/Phil Noble)

Liverpool cruised to a straight forward victory against Burnley at Turf Moor this afternoon.

Goals from Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and a Chris Wood own goal saw Jurgen Klopp’s side ease to their fourth Premier League win to maintain their 100% start to the season.

Sean Dyche’s side started well but never recovered from a sucker punch of a first goal, with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross deflecting in off Wood midway through the first half.

The lead was doubled swiftly after, before Firmino rounded things off with minutes to go.

Burnley started the day with one change, Aaron Lennon replacing Johan Berg Gudmundsson in midfield. The Iceland winger suffered a calf injury in last weekend’s 1-1 draw at Wolves.

Liverpool on the other hand were unchained from their 3-1 win over Arsenal the week before, with Joel Matip partnering Virgil van Dijk at the back, and Joe Gomez on the bench.

At an initially rowdy Turf Moor the match started brightly. Chris Wood tested Adrian within the opening minutes before Mo Salah picked up the ball on the right-hand side of the box and crashed an effort against the near post.

Wood, along with man-of-the-moment Ashely Barnes, continued to cause Liverpool’s defenders problems, while Dwight McNeil started the game positively down the left hand side.

A ricocheted one-two between Salah and Firmino saw the Egyptian bare down on goal but the onrushing Pope saved well to deny him, and although Liverpool saw plenty of the ball, Burnley’s disciplined shape restricted the amount of genuine chances in what was proving an even contest.

The home side nearly took the lead when Aaron Lennon flashed a brilliant ball across the box, but Joel Matip got to the ball first to prevent McNeil opening the scoring.

Ultimately, it was a moment of luck that broke the deadlock. The ball was played back to Alexander-Arnold and his deflected deep cross looped over Nick Pope in the Burnley net. It was a bitter pill for Dyche’s men to take given how well they played up to that point.

Sadio Mane grabs Liverpool's second. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Worse was to follow and within minutes it was 2-0. A poor Ben Mee pass was intercepted by Firmino, he strode forward before laying it into the stride of Sadio Mane to his left and he stroked the ball into the bottom corner. Just one mistake and Burnley found themselves down two at the interval.

The second half began in a more subdued fashion, with both teams looking slightly scrappy and losing possession. When Burnley decided to go long, van Dijk and Matip were strong enough to deal with Burnley’s front two, with Fabinho dropping between them to offer an extra man.

On the hour mark a nicely worked Liverpool free-kick on the left was pulled back to the edge of the box, with Salah driving the ball into the crowd of players ahead of him. He followed it up with a lovely run minutes later, but shot poorly when he should have played the lively Firmino in.

Both Liverpool full-backs, but Alexander-Arnold in particular, continued to be given room down the flanks and the home side struggled to create chances, with Adrian having very little to do in the Liverpool net.

It proved a frustrating day for Sean Dyche (Photo by Dave Howarth/EMPICS/PA Images via Getty Images)

With the minutes winding down, the teams exchanged half-chances, with substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain fired an effort straight at Pope and McNeil blazing over shortly after, until Salah broke into the box before setting up Firmino to score his side’s third in the bottom corner.

Late on, substitute Jay Rodriguez was thwarted by Adrian in what ultimately proved to be a frustrating day for the home side. In truth, it ended up being a fairly comfortable and controlled win for Klopp’s men in the end.

The game began brightly in the Burnley sunshine, for both sides, but while the home team never properly recovered from the game’s first goal, Liverpool never looked back.

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