Liverpool welcomed Burnley to Anfield and the team showed just one change from that last time out against Arsenal, Divock Origi started in the place of the injured Roberto Firmino in Liverpools attack.
Burnley were widely tipped to come to Anfield and drop deep all game causing Liverpool the usual problem of trying to break down a stubborn and compact defence.
But they did the opposite of that. They started the game brightly and from the first minute they were pushing numbers high up on the Liverpool defence.
They took the lead on 6 minutes when Lowton produced an excellent cross from deep on the right side to find Barnes at the far post who was able to stroke the ball into the goal from just a few yards out.
A fine goal but questions have to be asked about the positioning of both Ragner Klavan and Joël Matip who both had chances clear the ball but both players failed this simple task.
The goal was a dagger to the home team and although Sadio Mané did wriggle free and produce a fine cross from the end link only a few minutes later it was too high for Origi to get his head onto.
Burnley almost doubled their lead on 20 minutes when a similar move this time from the left side seen Barnes volley a low cross just wide only for it to be judged offside anyway.
The signs were there all the way through the first half.
Adam Lallana and Philippe Couthino were poor in midfield and Emre Can was looking lost again while having to spread himself across the centre of the park.
Just as it looked that the crowd would no doubt be booing this pathetic performance at half time Gini Winjaldum popped up in a crowded box to score a goal right on the stroke of half time.
The first good passing move ended with Origi crossing the ball into the box and while Winjaldum attempted an audacious flick first time that didn’t come off the ball did drop kindly for him to pick his spot and fire the ball past the diving goalkeeper.
Liverpool were level at half time having been absolutely brutal again against a team they should be beating easily.
The team appeared for the second half with no changes and the game appeared to be going the same way as the first half did.
No passing no penetration and no high tempo that we usually need to produce a winning performance.
The game stumbled along until the 61st minute when Ben Woodburn came on to replace the virtually invisible Couthino and just as everyone was welcoming young Wooburn into the fray Origi played a square ball to Emre Can from a throw in.
He simply turned pushed the ball out from under his feet and from about 25 yards out shot low and and hard beating the goalkeeper down to his left side to score a great goal and give us the lead in a game we badly needed to win.
Although Can seemed to be letting this game pass him by again this was a big contribution from him and seemed to catch everyone off guard with his intentions as he was not closed down in time.
It with truely a goal out of nothing.
For the next ten minutes or so Divock Origi seemed to come to life as he was chasing down and closing players and being more industrious in his work rate.
It looks as if he was relieved not to be the one to make way when Woodburn came on instead it was Couthino. Maybe the managers faith in him spurred him on.
But it didn’t last too long either.
He didn’t offer alot today yet again and seems to be estranged to the type of system the manager wants to play and what he’s expected to do for us.
Simon Mignolet had to come out of his goal in the closing 25 minutes of this game several times to punch away long deep balls played into the Liverpool box. Most from free kicks that the Burnley goalkeeper would come out to punt long and high.
Mignolet did well and looked commanding when called upon for his part.
Burnley pushed hard for the last of this game to no avail but it did give the chance for the home team to catch them on the break with the pace of Mane in particular.
It almost paid off too on 88 minuted when Can broke up play and pushed a ball up for Mané only for the goalkeeper to deny him the killer goal. It was the type of chance he was craving all game too.
As the game looked over a last half chance fell to Lowton in the box as he tried to take an early shot on after after bouncing ball in the box fell nice for him only he didn’t let it drop enough after and hooked it high over the cross bar.
This was a messy win for Liverpool. They were not at their best by any means today yet it’s a win we need to start getting more of.
The dirty messy wins which we normally don’t get are just as important as the high flying eye catching wins. More so.
We seen games before were we would waste chance after chance, play great passing football yet not get the points. This was the opposite of that today and part of me is happy about it more so than I should be given the performance.
Next up is a big game against Man City away and we all know we will be up for that game and probably play a lot better than we did against Burnley.
Firmino was missed today if only for his work rate in harassing a defence never mind his ability to set up chances for others. Hopefully he will be back next week.
Written by @StephenKing75