Possession domination not enough for Reds
Liverpool have suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season as a poor performance was met with a deserved 2-0 win for Burnley at Turf Moor.
Liverpool dominated most of the statistics, enjoying a healthy 80% possession in the match, and firing 26 shots at Tom Heaton’s goal.
It wasn’t enough however, as they struggled to recover from an early Sam Vokes goal that put Burnley ahead after just 2 minutes. Just as Liverpool were managing to take control in the game however, Burnley broke away again, and Andre Grey doubled the hosts’ lead after 37 minutes.
From here, Liverpool struggled to create any clear-cut chances. Daniel Sturridge often found himself incredibly deep and his work-rate was below acceptable. James Milner struggled as a makeshift left-back, not only struggling defensively but also struggling with his service into the box.
Liverpool missed the injured Sadio Mane, as a lack of pace didn’t help Liverpool break down Burnley as their centre-backs Michael Keane and Ben Mee both put in fantastic performances.
Another talking point for Liverpool was Phillipe Coutinho. Despite his good showing last week vs Arsenal, he never looked like scoring today, hitting countless shots wide, over, and into the safe gloves of Heaton. For Coutinho to reach the next level that everybody knows he’s capable of, he needs to study players like Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, who both have a 5th sense to know when to shoot or pass.
Jurgen Klopp spoke to the press after the game,
“[Possession] is what we did well, but in the end you have to use it,” the manager said at his post-match press conference.
“It’s not allowed that you suffer under your own ball possession, that makes no sense. It’s not that we didn’t want it – six or seven times Phil [Coutinho] alone was in the right position to shoot.
“In England you use the word ‘clinical’ – in a lot of situations I saw we were clinical but even then we didn’t score. That’s how it is and we have to accept it.
“I will watch the game again and I am pretty sure I will not see a lot of surprises in this game, I saw everything. When we conceded the first goal, we had a lot of time to win the game.
“Even at half-time I felt there was still a possibility to do it. In the last moments, we were not where we should have been and that was a little bit of the problem, in the box, around the box.
“I saw crosses – really good crosses – when nobody was in the box. I saw shots when the whole box was full.
“Our timing and decision-making today was not really good. It might have been forced by the result and by the passion of the opponent, but it is how it is.”
Burnley were magnificent at the back today particularly, and were clinical going forward. Liverpool must recover and find their form again in time for their trip to Spurs next Saturday.
By Ben Kelly – @benkelly_10