Burnley picked up their first points of the season after upsetting in-form Liverpool to win 2-0 at Turf Moor. The Clarets took the lead in just the second minute thanks to a powerful Sam Vokes strike after Nathaniel Clyne had given the ball away.
Following a fluid spell from the visitors, Burnley doubled their lead eight minutes from the interval after good work from Steven Defour allowed Andre Gray to drive home a low left-footed shot.
After this surprise result, scroll down to see the seven things we learned from this match.
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Burnley are extremely well organised
Liverpool had 80% possession but only managed five attempts on target, and that was mainly down to the excellent organisation and work-rate of Burnley.
They kept their shape incredibly well and congested the central region of the pitch with lots of bodies. This meant that there was no space for Liverpool’s technicians to operate in and they were left either shooting from long-range or trying to find eye-of-the-needle passes.
Burnley pressed high up the pitch when Simon Mignolet tried to play out from the back and Liverpool nearly lost the ball on the edge of their own box a number of times as a result of that press.
Milner isn’t a left-back
Following a number of high-profile errors from Alberto Moreno, Jurgen Klopp drafted in the experienced James Milner to play at left-back.
Too often however, the versatile Englishman came back inside onto his right foot and it was fairly predictable for Burnley to defend against. If he wasn’t delivering balls into the box, Milner was cutting in and passing it sideways or backwards.
For all of Moreno’s defensive faults, the Spaniard does provide Liverpool genuine width going forward and he replaced Milner as they tried to get back into the game.
Sturridge not fully sharp
Having not made the squad for last weekend’s win, Daniel Sturridge started up front for Liverpool but he produced a poor display and was brought off for Divock Origi in the 65th minute.
The England striker wasn’t at his sharpest, he failed to latch onto most through balls and he even gave away a few lazy fouls. His biggest issue was that he was rarely on the last man or inside the box – he drifted out wide, dropped deep, and at times played more like a number ten.
Andre Gray’s pace vital for Burnley
Burnley were on the back foot for large spells of the game, so the speed of Andre Gray was a fantastic outlet for the rest of the team.
The striker’s pace got Dyche’s side up the pitch and relieved the pressure on the back four. The 25-year-old was a constant threat and terrorised both Dejan Lovren and Martin Klazan with his pace.
After putting in a real shift, Gray deservedly received the Man of the Match award as well as a standing ovation from the crowd at Turf Moor.
Promising signs from debutant Defour
Once on the radar of Manchester United, Burnley’s record signing Steven Defour made his debut for the club and showed signs that he is well-suited to the nature of English football.
As his 55th minute substitution showed, the 28-year-old midfielder will need time to last the full 90 in a Premier League match. That said, he was neat and tidy on the ball and worked tirelessly closing people down in the middle of the park.
The Belgian international also did brilliantly for Burnley’s second goal, breaking up play and driving forward before providing the assist for Gray.
Liverpool missed Sadio Mane
Sadio Mane was outstanding on his debut last week and it was clear that Liverpool missed him today.
Players like Roberto Firmino, Adam Lallana and Philippe Coutinho mostly want the ball to feet, but Mane is different in that respect. He’s willing to run in behind defences, stretch teams, and he frightens defenders with his electric pace.
Consistency the key for Liverpool
There is no doubt that Liverpool are one of the best teams in the league but, up against rigid, structured opposition, they lacked the cutting edge which saw them rip Arsenal apart for a 15-20 minute period last Sunday.
If they have serious aspirations of getting into the top four of challenging for the title, they will need to be at their best more often.
Will Liverpool challenge for the title this season? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!
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