Liverpool returned to the top of the Premier League with a hard-fought 3-1 win over Burnley as goals from Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez rendered Dara O’Shea’s Clarets header obsolete. It was no vintage display from the Reds, whose squad had been rocked by illness over the past week, but they did just enough to put three points on the board against Vincent Kompany‘s relegation-threatened side. As the dust settles, Express Sport takes you through four key talking points…
Mac Allister backs Klopp into a corner
Much has been made of whether Alexis Mac Allister should be used as a defensive No 6 or a box-to-box No 8 since his summer move from Brighton. Against Burnley he started in the more advanced role which, to put it bluntly, didn’t go well.
The Reds were unable to dictate the tempo of the game with Wataru Endo as the only deep-lying midfielder, while Mac Allister had fewer touches than all bar two of his Liverpool team-mates in the first period. He improved after dropping back alongside Endo in the second half, with the drastic difference effectively forcing Klopp to play Mac Allister further back over the coming weeks.
Kelleher stung by team-mate
It was a big day at Anfield for back-up goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, who was called upon to stand in for Alisson due to illness. Despite being termed ‘the world’s best No 2‘ by Jurgen Klopp, the Irishman has not always convinced Liverpool supporters.
It therefore will have come as a crushing blow when his clean sheet was wiped out by his international team-mate, Dara O’Shea, who rose highest in the penalty area to head home his first Premier League goal and leave an unwanted mark on Kelleher’s afternoon.
The good and bad of Fofana
After brilliantly setting up a consolation goal against Manchester City and scoring a brace against Fulham in his last two games, Burnley’s on-loan Chelsea youngster David Datro Fofana was handed a valuable start at Anfield.
The 21-year-old excelled in the first half; displaying impressive hold-up play, creating a big chance and proving difficult to shove off the ball. And while he remained heavily involved after the break, things went pear-shaped when he missed two gilt-edged opportunities to drag the Clarets back into the contest.
Kompany was left with his head in his hands, and Liverpool subsequently responded by putting the tie to bed.