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Four things we learned from Liverpool's win over Burnley

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Liverpool continued their unbeaten streak in the Premier League with a 2-0 victory against Burnley on Wednesday night.

With the chance to leapfrog fifth-placed Southampton, the Reds started brightly and in the 29th minute Jordan Henderson's crashing shot from outside the box gave his side the lead.

After the break, Brendan Rodgers' men continued their momentum and Henderson turned from goal-scorer to provide when his cross was met by Daniel Sturridge to wrap the three points up.

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With just 11 league games remaining, Liverpool continue their pursuit of overtaking Manchester United into fourth-place and there were several things we learned about the Merseyside club's victory against Burnley.

Henderson is a worthy captain

In Steven Gerrard's absence due to injury, Henderson has skippered the Reds in every game except their 1-0 loss to Besiktas in the Europa League when he himself was side-lined.

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In the past few weeks, Henderson has been mightily impressive and has shown that he is a worthy replacement to Gerrard's armband when he leaves for LA Galaxy in the summer.

The former Sunderland man has excelled to a new level in recent weeks and become a natural leader.

His goal against Manchester City last Sunday was a superb strike, Gerrard like, and he had his attacking boots on once against against Sean Dyce's men.

Henderson first had an effort that he hit perfectly through a tiny gap, only for Tom Heaton to makes a fine save low down to his left.

However, the Burnley goalkeeper had no chance of repeating those actions when the Wearside native smashed home a loose ball following a Philippe Coutinho blocked shot. The strike from Henderson was much better than on the eye; the ball was bobbling at a difficult pace however the England international got over the ball and gave Heaton no chance.

He then followed that up in the second-half when assisting Sturridge. Henderson's vision and awareness of where his team-mate was, was of the top-level likewise the perfectly-weighted cross that found the head of Sturridge.

As well as making an impact going forward, he ran the middle of the park winning challenges in all areas.

A top performance from Henderson who has really came into his own in the last few weeks.

Lallana beginning to find his feet

£25 million was the fee paid for Adam Lallana from Southampton last summer.

It was a substantial amount of money that was questioned by some.

After struggling with injury for a large part of his Anfield career as well as being benched a lot of the time, Lallana is starting to justify the price paid for him.

He was top-class against Manchester City and continued that against Burnley. Playing alongside Coutinho just behind the striker, the England international constantly found space and the Burnley back-four struggled to keep up with him.

For the Reds' first goal, his neat pass found Coutinho in the build-up and for Sturridge's it was Lallana who put the graft in.

He took his time on the ball, looking for the right option. In the process, he dragged men around him however did not panic. A simple drop of the shoulder was enough to fool Scott Arfield and leave Henderson with acres of space to pick out Sturridge.

Defence solid

At the beginning of the season, there were plenty of question marks regarding Liverpool's back-line.

Goals were leaking from all directions and it was costing the Reds plenty of points.

A change in system last December however has saw Liverpool thriving once again.

A defence of three centre-backs has brought clarity and solidarity ahead of Simon Mignolet, who has also benefitted from the adjustment.

Martin Skrtel was fantastic against Burnley and has took his game to a new level in recent weeks. He had the task of marking Danny Ings, who can be a handful for any defender.

However, Skrtel took to the task magnificently and won every tackle and header required. He is now the leader of the defence, something that was terribly missed since Jamie Carragher retired, shouting orders and commands to his team-mates.

Dejan Lovren has also improved leaps and bounds after struggling at the start of the term. The Croat was solid at the back and also used the ball impressively, something he has failed to do in the past.

Emre Can once again performed and he has become Mr. Consistent. Powerful when defending, likewise when ending the game at wing-back, the German has become value for money at £10 million.

Unlucky not to be in top four - but belief

With the win, Liverpool regain fifth spot however still trail Manchester United by just two points.

With 11 games left there will be a real scrap for the final Champions League spot up for grabs and it could come down to when he two meet on March 22 at Anfield - and that's still with Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur breathing down their necks.

However, Rodgers' men are unlucky not to be sitting on the same tally as the Red Devils and clear of the Saints.

Louis van Gaal's side were lucky to scrape a 1-0 win against Newcastle United thanks to a terrible piece of defending from the Magpies. The red half of Manchester continue to win unimpressively and one has to wonder if they have reached their peak of performances.

Southampton left it late to beat Crystal Palace last Tuesday evening and if the game had have ended a goalless stalemate, Ronald Koeman's side would have trailed Liverpool by four points.

Games are fewer and fewer as the season takes a turn towards the finishing line. It will be a difficult task for the Merseyside club to qualify for the Champions League for a second successive season but they have the wind behind their sails.

After every game, Liverpool continue to improve and have a hatful of players including Gerrard, Mamadou Sakho and Jordan Ibe to return from injury.

As for United, moral must be low in the Old Trafford camp. Angel Di Maria is not having the season expected since his £59.7 million move from Real Madrid and was once again brought off early.

As for Southampton, their fantastic form early in the season has slowed down and momentum has derailed. Graziano Pelle was scoring goals for fun in the early stages of the campaign however has scored just two in his last 15 matches.

The bookies have Man United as a shorter price than Liverpool to finish in the top-four. However, it is hard to see past the Reds - they are playing top football, blowing side's away whereas United are struggling in all of their games.

Will Liverpool finish inside the top four this season? Have your say in the comments below!

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Liverpool

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