It was another much-needed win in the quest for Champions League football and a convincing one at that, with a few standout performances.
Burnley 0-3 Liverpool
Premier League (37), Turf Moor
19 May 2021
Goals: Firmino 43′, Phillips 52′, Oxlade-Chamberlain 88′
Alisson – 7 (out of 10)
Dealt well with Burnley‘s aerial and physical threat.
A good punch clear and a good take early on were good signs and he coped with wood better than the defensive pairing in front of him.
Had a couple of routine saves to make but was well-positioned for these.
Experiencing something of a goal drought after not scoring in this game, so loses a mark for that.
Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7
Contributed to some early sloppiness but settled into the game afterwards.
An early shot caused problems in the Burnley defence and should have led to a goal as it deflected into the path of Mane.
Nat Phillips – 9 (Man of the Match)
A thorough breakdown of how he struggled with Chris Wood earlier in the game, or a celebration of his first goal for the club?
There has to be a focus on the latter, given how much of a great moment this is for Phillips and how important this goal was in the context of Liverpool’s Champions League hopes.
There have been questions as to why his aerial wins in defence haven’t translated to danger in the opposition box at set-pieces, and a lot of it is to do with directing headers as opposed to simply winning them.
But when Mane’s cross came in he rose, made good contact, and his effort managed to evade the diving Will Norris.
A clearance off the line was also a key moment in the game and he actually bailed Fabinho out on one occasion.
He did struggle to keep tabs on Chris Wood, especially in the first half, but his defensive contribution improved as the game went on.
Rhys Williams – 6
Unfortunate not to have a goal or goalline clearance to his name to inflate his own rating, as a lot of his defensive problems were shared by his partner at the back.
Looked lost as to how to deal with some of Burnley‘s high balls over the top, but he wasn’t alone as Phillips also struggled, but it seemed he was definitely targeted by Sean Dyche’s side.
Like Phillips, some of his defensive highlights were fairly last-ditch which usually means something has gone wrong earlier on.
There were some more promising signs and interventions and, after all, it was a clean sheet, which is always good for a defender!
Andy Robertson – 7
Made a good run inside Mane during the move leading to the opening goal, sending in a dangerous cross for Firmino to finish.
Fairly steady throughout after that and finished the game with four key passes and an assist for Oxlade-Chamberlain’s goal for good measure.
Fabinho – 6
Not his usual rumbustious self in midfield, where on his best days he can cause problems for the opposition on both sides of the ball.
Despite this, his inclusion in the middle of the park still feels important and it is useful just to have his presence there in games like this.
Thiago – 8
Missed a chance he did well to create with his own quick passing and movement, pulling his shot past the far post in trying to find the corner.
Made numerous incisive forward passes, and even though at times he was lucky Salah’s touch was perfect to bring some of the more difficult ones under control, this is the kind of passing a Liverpool side needs.
Contributes defensively too, and already looks like a leader in this team in the absence of the likes of Henderson and Milner.
Gini Wijnaldum – 6
Back in the starting XI after sitting out the West Brom game.
Didn’t misplace a pass, finishing the game with 100 per cent pass success, though few of them were remarkable.
Mohamed Salah – 7
Thwarted by Ben Mee on more than one occasion as his pace and movement was a threat to the Burnley backline.
Showed some excellent touches and control, and played a part earlier on in moves prior to some of the best early chances.
His touch let him down on one occasion when through on goal, though, but he generally looks sharp and a constant threat.
Roberto Firmino – 7
Got a good contact on Robertson’s cross to send the ball past Norris, even though it was more or less straight at the backup Burnley keeper.
Had an earlier chance from Mane’s backheel which he didn’t quite connect with in quite the same manner!
Sadio Mane – 6
Was well-placed to get on the end of a chance from a deflected Trent shot, and it was a good chance at that, but he couldn’t take it.
A nice backheel set up Firmino for the Brazilian’s first chance, and it was his pitched up cross which gave Phillips an easy chance to open his Liverpool account.
There is the occasional sign he’s coming back in some kind of form, which he’ll hopefully show more emphatically at the weekend!
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (on for, Firmino 81′) – 7
Really well-taken goal with his left foot after sitting down James Tarkowski. A sign of what he’s capable of.
James Milner (on for, Wijnaldum 87′) – N/A
Kostas Tsimikas (on for, Mane 90+2′) – N/A
Oh, there he is. Who next, Ben Davies?
Subs not used: Adrián, Jones, Shaqiri, Origi, N Williams, Koumetio
Jurgen Klopp – 8
Doesn’t have too many decisions to make in terms of his team selection, with Wijnaldum coming in for Curtis Jones the only change from the West Brom game.
Oxlade-Chamberlain could give him another attacking option next week, and his introduction off the bench for Firmino was a good move from the Liverpool boss.
It was a good setup and game plan, as indicated by the number of chances created, and the 3-0 win is ideal for getting the points required and also boosting the goal difference.
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