Nat Phillips scored his first professional goal as Liverpool sealed a 3-0 victory at Burnley to push them into the top four ahead of the final day.
Burnley 0-3 Liverpool
Premier League (37), Turf Moor
May 20, 2021
Firmino 43′ (assist – Robertson)
Phillips 52′ (assist – Mane)
Oxlade-Chamberlain 88′ (assist – Robertson)
With 3,500 fans back at Turf Moor, the atmosphere was palpable and it clearly pushed the Burnley players on, with a great tackle from Ben Mee denying Mohamed Salah early on and earning roars from the stands.
There was a sense of desperation in the Liverpool side early on, with Andy Robertson urging his team-mates to calm down at every opportunity, instructing Rhys Williams throughout.
Both Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino squandered half-chances, while Burnley‘s low block restricted genuine openings, despite the probing presence of Thiago on the edge of the box.
The inexperience among Williams and Phillips showed once again as Chris Wood peeled away between them and fired an effort into the side-netting, suggesting the pair had not learned from Hal Robson-Kanu’s lesson on Sunday.
Thiago, Salah and Phillips all missed bigger opportunities before the break, only for Firmino to step up and silence the Turf Moor crowd as he hammered home Robertson’s cutback.
HT: Burnley 0-1 Liverpool
It took 13 shots for Liverpool to break the deadlock, but they were 2-0 up within the first seven minutes of the second half, and it was a big moment for Phillips.
With Mane hanging the ball up following a corner routine, the centre-back did what he does best as he towered over the cross and headed it into the back of the net beyond a hapless Norris.
Burnley amped up the pressure as the crowd stirred back into life, and Phillips was required to make another goal-line clearance to keep out James Tarkowski, with the centre-back busy at both ends of the pitch.
With the Reds looking leggy and the top-four decider against Crystal Palace only four days away, Jurgen Klopp turned to his bench with 10 minutes to play, opting for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in place of the opening goalscorer.
Oxlade-Chamberlain wrapped it up late on, twisting into space in the box and firing in his first goal of the season, as Liverpool move into the top four.
A victory over Palace would now guarantee fourth, provided Leicester don’t produce a massive goal difference swing, while Chelsea failing to beat Aston Villa would see them finish third.
TIA Man of the Match: Nat Phillips
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Burnley: Norris; Lawton, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Cork, Brownhill, Westwood; Gudmondsson, McNeil, Wood
Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Dunne, Nartey, Driscoll-Glennon, Pieters, Vydra, Rodriguez, Barnes, Richardson
Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Phillips, R.Williams, Robertson; Fabinho, Thiago, Wijnaldum (Milner 86′); Salah, Mane (Tsimikas 90+2′), Firmino (Oxlade-Chamberlain 81′)
Subs not used: Adrian, Koumetio, N.Williams, Jones, Shaqiri, Origi
Next match: Crystal Palace (H) – Premier League – Sunday, May 23, 4pm (BST)