As Boxing Day 2023 draws to a close, Liverpool sit top of the Premier League table. Victory over Burnley earlier this evening, moves the Reds two points clear of Arsenal, although the Gunners have a game in hand - which they play against West Ham United on Thursday evening.
In what proved to be a curious game, Liverpool eventually secured all three points in the 90th minute, when returning forward Diogo Jota finished from a tight angle to make it 2 - 0. The fact that it took until the 90th minute for Liverpool to score a second goal, was down to a combination of excellent goalkeeping and questionable refereeing.
Indeed, when Darwin Nunez confidently swept the ball into the bottom corner from 20 yards in the 6th minute, it looked like Liverpool would blow Burnley away. Sadly, that didn't happen, and the longer the game remained at 1 - 0, the more you got the feeling, that Burnley might nick something from a set-piece or counter-attack. Thankfully, Liverpool's defense were on excellent form, especially Virgil Van Dijk, who picked up the 'Player of the Match' award.
Burnley's young keeper, James Trafford, once again showed why he is so hightly rated, making a series of saves to deny Salah (twice), Elliott and Nunez. Liverpool would end the match with 19 shots, 10 on target, so it is testiment to Trafford that the scoreline stayed 1 - 0 for so long.
The Officials also had a hand in keeping the scoreline down, with Liverpool having two goals disallowed. In the first half, Cody Gakpo thought he had scored, only for the goal to be ruled out for a foul by Darwin Nunez on Charlie Taylor. Replays show the contact was minimul at best, with the defender not appealing for a foul. In the second half Harvey Elliott finished off a flowing Liverpool attack, only for the goal to be ruled out for Salah being offside. Technically, Salah was in an offside position when Elliott hit the ball, and he was in the keeper's eye line, but the referee failed to spot that Salah had been pushed forward by a Burnley defender. It's also highly unlikely that Trafford would have saved Elliott's shot, even if Salah hadn't been there. Thankfully, the decisions didn't cost Liverpool, and they move onto Monday's home game with Newcastle in fine spirits.
Liverpool show they have Champions Spirit...
Following back-to-back draws, against Man United and Arsenal, Liverpool needed a win to get their title charge back on track. This was another potentially tricky away game, with Burnley defeating Newcastle last time out, so it was great for Liverpool to record the win and put pressure on their rivals. Newcastle are the next visitors to Anfield on New Years Day, and Klopp's team will be full of confidence as we head into 2024.
Burnley vs Liverpool Line-Ups
Burnley Starting XI : Trafford, Da Silva, O'Shea, Beyer, Taylor, Odobert, Berge, Brownhill, Tresor, Foster, Amdouni
Liverpool Starting XI : Alisson, Gomez, Quansah, Van Dijk (C), Alexander-Arnold, Endo, Gravenberch, Elliott, Salah, Gakpo, Nunez
Burnley vs Liverpool Match Stats
Burnley 31% - 69% Liverpool
Burnley 9 - 19 Liverpool
Shots on Target
Burnley 0 - 10 Liverpool
Burnley 4 - 4 Liverpool
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... About The Author ...
Peter Farrell - Editor and Chief Article Writer, LFC - Back On Our Perch
Articles written by Author :: 366
Lifelong fan with a passion for all things Liverpool. First memory of football is watching John Barnes score a dramatic last minute equaliser in the FA Cup when he was 4. Feels lucky to be a part of the 'Klopp' era.
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