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Five Talking Points from Burnley’s loss to Liverpool.

Dramatic late action at Turf Moor saw Ragnar Klavan net a late winner, only minutes after a Gudmundsson goal made it seem like the points would be shared.

The Estonian’s 94th minute winner gave the reds their first three points of 2018.

A wonderful left footed strike from Sadio Mané on the hour mark gave Liverpool a 1-0 lead after a very dull first 60 minute of football. The game came to life as chances went begging at both ends, with Burnley ‘keeper Nick Pope making two impressive saves, before Berg Gudmondsson notched at the back post in the 87th minute for Burnley, with a draw seeming the imminent conclusion.

Burnley pressured as the fourth official indicated there would be four minutes of added time. However a set piece routine resulted in the Redmen taking all three points, after Ragnar Klavan got the final touch on Dejan Lovren’s goal-bound header.

 

“Whisper it, but Mane is getting back his groove”

One of the talking points from the Leicester game, just 48 hours before yesterday’s fixture. Sadio Mane had a quiet game overall, but his goal was nothing short of magnificent.

It showed the ability and confidence which has won over Liverpool fans. He took responsibility and unleashed a lethal finish from the edge of the penalty area, with his left foot.

He’s still getting up to full speed and he appears to be regaining confidence- after the last two games, he certainly looks ready to kick on. Especially with the Everton game coming this Friday, he loves to score against them…

 

Rotation is paying off

Rewind to last season. If Mane or Coutinho were injured, Kops really, really struggled. Now, after Mo Salah and Phil Coutinho were both ruled out today with injuries, Liverpoo still got the points against a very tough side. The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Gini Wijnaldum were fresh going into yesterday’s fixture and it showed.

Alexander-Arnold provided the assist for Sadio Mane and always looked a danger down the right hand side, and look more confident and capable each time he plays.

It has also allowed Adam Lallana’s return to be taken slowly, and the benefits of that showed today as he lasted 85 minutes in his first start of the season, and looked very close to full match sharpness and fitness. It was an impressive return to the starting eleven for Lallana.

Virgil van Dijk Day

He is FINALLY a Liverpool player. Klopp has his man, but the question is, who plays alongside him? Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren both put forward their claim at the Turf Moor with impressive performances defensively, and of course both of their involvement in the crucial late winner. The pair will have given Jurgen Klopp a headache, especially with Matip looking very shaky in the win against Leicester.

Dejan Lovren is the typical pantomime villain, but was very impressive. He defended very well against opponents that were willing to get involved in a physical battle with the Croat, such as Ashley Barnes.

Klavan has been impressive all season for the reds and has been solid when relied upon. The Estonian has barely put a foot wrong and getting the all-important winner today certainly won’t harm his case.
Many believe Joel Matip to be Liverpool’s best centre-back, but he looked very shaky and shot of confidence in the game against Leicester.

Will any of these players significantly improve playing alongside a leader like Van Dijk?

Be fair on Solanke

Dom Solanke was a talking point among social media throughout the game, in what was a disappointing outing for the young striker. He struggled to impact the game and couldn’t really nget a hold of the ball or create a threat.

However. He had not played a senior game in English football before coming to the Reds, with just a season at Vitesse in Holland. He needs time.

He looks shot of confidence, which comes as no surprise with the pressure on his shoulders and having not opened his Liverpool account. But this is not a reflection of his ability and his future potential.
He is always getting in the right areas, always working hard and one goal could be all he needs to kick on and gain confidence.