Liverpool came from behind to win 3-1 at Burnley on Wednesday night, with a much-changed team getting the job done in the second half.
Burnley 1-3 Liverpool
Premier League, Turf Moor
December 5, 2018
Goals: Cork (54′), Milner (62′), Firmino (69′), Shaqiri (90′)
Alisson (out of 10) – 8
Liverpool’s world-class goalkeeper has been superb in recent weeks but it took a while for him to be tested against a defence-minded Burnley outfit.
His distribution was poor early on, with a few clearances not finding their intended target, but it improved as the game progressed – finishing with some superb distribution for the third goal.
He made a huge last-gasp save just before Xherdan Shaqiri put the icing on the cake. Worth every penny of his fee.
Joe Gomez – 6
Gomez started at right-back due to Trent Alexander-Arnold being on the substitutes’ bench, but his night lasted just 23 minutes.
It looked a serious-looking ankle injury, after the 21-year-old collided with the advertising hoardings. Stretchered off.
Joel Matip – 6
Awarded a rare start, Matip took up his place alongside Virgil van Dijk but never truly convinced at any point.
He looked rusty from the off, which is probably understandable, but his passing was slack, he was slow on the ball and he didn’t instil confidence.
The centre-back did improve after the break, though, showing more dominance and confidence.
Virgil van Dijk – 8
The Dutchman continued his record of starting every Premier League game this season and he was highly impressive all evening.
One loose early pass was the only blot on his copybook, and he was monstrous aerially, slick in possession and held things together at the back.
Headed straight at Joe Hart and should have done better, but got a key assist for Roberto Firmino‘s strike.
Alberto Moreno – 7
With Andy Robertson out injured, Moreno was given a chance to prove his worth, with much speculation surrounding his Liverpool future.
The left-back did well on the whole, fizzing one early cross-cum-shot over the crossbar and offering attacking runs at every opportunity.
Substituted in the 65th minute.
Jordan Henderson – 7
Henderson returned to the team after serving his one-match suspension, adopting the No.6 role in place of Fabinho.
The skipper was far too quiet a presence in the first half, taking the easy option on the ball without ever doing anything wrong, barring one comical slip.
He was much better after the interval, however, keeping the ball ticking over, showing more attacking thrust and making a key tackle when Burnley broke away.
James Milner – 8
Milner’s form has tailed off slightly after an excellent start to the season, but he was one of Liverpool’s most positive players.
One precise deep cross for Sturridge failed to be taken down by the striker and he often combined with Moreno and Keita to decent effect.
Scored the equaliser with an inch-perfect finish into the bottom corner and showed his experience as the Reds controlled the second 45 minutes.
Moved to left-back and looked effective there also.
Naby Keita – 8.5
Keita was handed his first league start since September by Jurgen Klopp, in what was the most exciting pre-match inclusion.
The diminutive midfielder was comfortably Liverpool’s brightest player, with positive runs through the midfield and real class on show.
He saw two shots blocked, Hart produce a sensational save from distance and a flick cleared off the line, in easily his best display for the Reds.
Xherdan Shaqiri – 7
He failed that test initially, finding himself on the periphery of proceedings and struggling to find any end product.
Like so many, he got better and better and his well-taken strike finished off the scoring.
Divock Origi – 6
Liverpool’s Merseyside derby hero has emerged from the wilderness, but his first Reds start in 570 days seemed a romantic one rather than logical.
The Belgian was never really at the races and showed a lack of all-around quality.
He tried hard, making runs into the channels, but never for a second did he look like being the man to make something happen.
Replaced midway through the second-half.
Daniel Sturridge – 7
Sturridge led the line after a promising cameo against Everton at the weekend and it was a mixed showing from the 29-year-old.
His preference for holding onto the ball for too long immediately frustrated and the ball bounced off him too often as well early on.
The striker forced Hart into a good save just after half-time and was so much more involved and brimming with attacking threat.
Played a key role in Shaqiri’s goal and showed a good response as the game went on.
Starting XI Average Rating: 7.22
Trent Alexander-Arnold (on for Gomez, 23′) – 6.5 Offered more natural attacking thrust than Gomez, especially late on.
Poor for Cork’s goal, after not doing enough physically from the corner.
Mohamed Salah (on for Moreno, 65′) – 6 His pace and movement caused real problems and he got an assist for Shaqiri’s clincher.
Roberto Firmino (on for Origi, 65′) – 7 Scored almost straight after coming on, with his first touch.
Made a massive difference and showed just what an intelligent player he is in the closing minutes.
Subs not used: Mignolet, Fabinho, Lallana, Camacho
Jurgen Klopp -8
Klopp took a huge gamble with his starting lineup with seven changes from the team that beat Everton 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.
Reverting to a 4-4-2 diamond formation, or at least something of that ilk, the German got a Jekyll and Hyde performance out of his players on a tricky night at Turf Moor.
He made substitutions at exactly the right time and it is his own winning mentality that inspired the second-half comeback.
It is Bournemouth away up next, in less than 72 hours time, with another victory essential.
Player ratings definitions: 10 = Faultless | 9 = Excellent | 8 = Very Good | 7 = Good | 6 = Average | 5 = Below Par | 4 = Bad | 3 = Very Bad | 2 Awful | 1 = Surely Not