Liverpool did the honourable thing and picked up three points from a potentially sticky encounter with Burnley, with a number of players coming away with credit.
Liverpool 3-1 Burnley
Premier League (23), Anfield
February 10, 2024
Goals: Jota 31′, Diaz 52′, Nunez 79′; O’Shea 45′
Liverpool were in serious need of a reaction following the disappointment of last weekend, and at first, it didn’t look as though we’d necessarily get one.
Burnley grew in confidence as the first period wore on and were good value for their equaliser on the stroke of half-time.
Vincent Kompany stuck to his much-maligned principles as his side looked to cause us problems, but they were equally capable of stifling Liverpool as they looked to carve out openings early on.
Ultimately, Burnley are already preparing for life in the Championship, but the Reds made them look more than adequate when they didn’t particularly need to.
Forwards still firing in Mo’s absence
One can only assume Salah feels like a caged animal at the moment, making the front three a frightening prospect when he can be added back in.
Elliott shines off the bench again
Quietly, Harvey Elliott is having a hugely impressive season despite having been predominantly utilised as a squad player for the majority so far.
The 20-year-old was introduced for the still-returning Trent Alexander-Arnold at the interval and was involved in everything positive the Reds produced going forward.
Many will rightly point out that he deserves more starts, but the competition for places and his ability to make such an instant impact off the bench makes him an ideal candidate when changes need to be made.
With Dominik Szoboszlai set to be out for the next few weeks, it would be no surprise if Elliott is knocking on the manager’s office door next week.
Suffering on the injury front
Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s withdrawal at the break – having been a pre-planned substitute at the Emirates – was an understandable cause for concern among supporters.
But relying on Curtis Jones to fill in at right-back for 45 minutes wasn’t an ideal solution for a side making a title push in February.
Klopp doesn’t seem to think it’s a serious issue, so we shall have to wait and see how that develops.
Things had been looking up on the fitness front in recent weeks, but the rigours of competing in four competitions appear to be showing and we could do with getting a bit more luck in the coming months.
Endo restores midfield balance
The return of Wataru Endo from the Asian Cup posed a number of questions about the immediate future of the midfield.
Alexis Mac Allister has been imperious in the No. 6 position while the Japan captain was away in Qatar, but the fact Endo slotted straight back in shows the regard in which he is held by the manager.
Instead, Mac Allister was given the freedom to express himself further up the pitch and the World Cup winner looked in his element as a more traditional centre-midfielder.
Klopp has options at his disposal and that will only increase when Szoboszlai makes his full return.