The Premier League's ninety-two remaining games, spread across nine rounds of games are set to play out beginning June 17th 2020, with Project Restart's health and safety conditions meaning the remaining games of the season will be played out behind closed doors. We will be providing match reports from these behind closed doors competitive encounters as the league campaign nears its end-game. All aboard.
Match Report (GW35): Liverpool 1-1 Burnley
The new Premier League champions welcome a Burnley side who are on the fringes of Europa League qualification, Both teams opened the game with the ethos of not conceding in the first 10 minutes would be a success, though the 10th minute was the first warning signs of Liverpool down the left-flank, with Andrew Robertson drilling a cross across the penalty area, with James Tarkowski clearing well from an advancing Mohamed Salah.
Less than 4 minutes later in the 14th minute Robertson combined with Sadio Mane, with the tricky winger ducking and turning into the penalty area before Roberto Firmino robbed the ball from Mane, though the Brazilian's shot well blocked by Tarkowski.
17 minutes on the clock and the Reds went close again when Robertson, high up the field again, cut back to Firmino, who in turn laid up Curtis Jones at the edge of the box, with Jones' left-footed effort not gaining enough power to trouble Nick Pope. The English shot-stopper was involved less than a minute later when Liverpool hit a long ball into the penalty area, Burnley were unable to clear before the ball dropped for Salah on the half-volley with his weaker right-foot. The effort was struck well, but a great reaction save to Pope's left kept the game goalless.
The chances kept on coming and on the 20th minute Curtis Jones found himself in another scoring position when Salah rolled a ball across the penalty area. Sadio Mane spotted Jones and rolled the ball into his path, with the eventual hot by Jones getting blocked and out for a corner.
The game finally saw its first major turning point in the 33rd minute when Sadio Mane trickled his way through the Burnley defense before lightly jabbing the ball in the path of Salah, whose shot was once again saved well by Pope to his left. From the resulting corner, the ball was cleared by Burnley but only to Jones who cut back to Fabinho, whose deaf cross at the back-post was headed excellently past Nick Pope by Andrew Robertson, a great effort to Pope's right that is Robertson's 4th Premier League goal for the champions that also denies Pope the opportunity to add to his clean sheet tally to the delight of Alisson.
Robertson was in the thick of the action yet again during the 43rd minute when Sadio Mane collected the ball at the edge of his own penalty. Driving into midfield he provided a through ball to Robertson with the outside of his boot with Robertson collecting the ball before running unoppposed into the penalty area. The Scot's fierce low-cross evaded everyone and slithered out for a goal kick much to Pope's relief.
The last action of the first-half saw Robertson at the heart of the attack again when he ran onto a ball and crossed deep into the box. Salah plucked the ball out of the area expertly before setting Mane who held off Long and Tarkowski before rifling a shot to Pope's top-right corner, though Pope stepped up again to make a fantastic save to deny Liverpool a second goal just before the break.
The second-half picked up where the first ended with a couple of chances on the 49th and 51st minutes that should have doubled or tripled the lead for Liverpool. The first came when Salah freed Firmino in the box with the attacker shooting his his weaker left-foot, the shot from Firmino ultimately hitting the post to Pope's left. Moments later Salah teed up Curtis Jones on his left at the left-side of the penalty area, with Jones blazing over the bar.
Another attack for Liverpool, another nearly moment for a second goal on the 61st minute from a corner-kick from Robertson which was cleared by Burnley, with the second ball into the box falling to Salah after Gini Wijnaldum's shot was saved, with the Egyptian's left-footed effort with penalty of time wayward over the bar and into the Kop.
Another twist in the game saw Burnley equalise much against the run of play after Jurgen Klopp took both Neco Williams and Curtis Jones off for Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita - with the home side likely to rue the drinks break. A long ball was headed down towards the edge of the box with Jay Rodriguez hammering home a fine effort to tie the score at 1-1, adding some spice to the encounter which looked like it was only heading one direction.
Burnley took the game to Liverpool and with 5 minutes left to play they could have nabbed a second after Ashley Westwood's corner wasn't clear with Gudmundsson pushing Alisson in the process, the ball falling out to the Icelandic international in midst of the melee with his shot rattling off the crossbar - though we have a feeling that VAR might have ruled the goal out - well actually, who knows with VAR.
At the death in extra-time, a long ball from Virgil van Dijk found Alexander-Arnold in space, with the right-back's cross hit first time from Mohamed Salah being saved by Nick Pope. With the away side game managing and wasting every possible second, the contest grinding to a slow halt much to the delight of Sean Dyche.
Man of the Match: Nick Pope (BUR)
We feel for Andy Robertson who had a great game against Burnley, scoring a wonderful header and being the driving force for the Reds, though in a contest which sees Liverpool drop points for the first time this season in 18 attempts, it was Nick Pope, the should-be England Goalkeeper moving forward, who was the star of the show. Pope made incredible first-half saves to deny both Mane and Salah, making 8 saves in total and almost single-handily got Burnley across the line in this one. Another fantastic performance by a top-level Goalkeeper - surely clubs in the 'Top 6' should be looking at signing Pope up.
LIV 1-1 BUR - Insight and Analysis:
Sitting next to a Liverpool in @HypeTrainSam who had some thoughts about the game - he mostly wound up by the wasted opportunities and it was a bad day of shooting at the office with the Reds lacking any clinical nature in front of goal. Roberto Firmino didn't have a good day, whilst Mane and Salah only forced Pope into a couple of testing saves. Sam was heavily in support of Jordan Henderson's importance to the club and has let me know that he's not surprised that without LFC's club captain in the side, they drop points at home for the first time.
One element that changed the game, and the nature of many games since the league's restart, is the drinks break. These breaks are not good for games and changing the style of games. Burnley scored directly after the second-half break and from there the game slowed in an attempt to claim a point.
Burnley will be lauded as picking up a great result, as they should, but they were not good to watch. They defended like lions and took the game to Liverpool in a result that makes you wonder why Sean Dyche's side don't go after teams like Man City in the same manner. The Clarets wasted so much time once Rodriguez scored and the only downside we hate to see is time-wasting in matches, though it got them across the line.
From a Liverpool stance, there were some players who were coasting this afternoon, and even though they had the chances to kill off the contest, it is clear that they need a 'Plan B', a Timo Werner type that should have come in to change the status quo against stubborn teams like Burnley - it is clear and obvious that the front three for Liverpool occasionally needs to have a new injection of style in order to be unpredictable and at their fluid best in every game.
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
DEF: N. Williams (Alexander-Arnold 69')
DEF: J. Gomez
DEF: V. van Dijk
DEF: A. Robertson
MID: G. Wijnaldum (Oxlade-Chamberlain 81')
MID: C. Jones (Keita 69')
FOR: M. Salah
FOR: R. Firmino
FOR: S. Mané
Lovren, Keita, Adrián, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Minamino, Shaqiri, Origi, Alexander-Arnold, Elliott
Manager: Sean Dyche
GK: N. Pope
DEF: P. Bardsley
DEF: K. Long
DEF: J. Tarkowski
DEF: C. Taylor
MID: E. Pieters (Gudmundsson 65')
MID: A. Westwood
MID: J. Brownhill
MID: D. McNeil
FOR: C. Wood (Vydra 65')
FOR: J. Rodriguez
Gudmundsson, Brady, Peacock-Farrell, Vydra, Thompson, Dunne, Benson, Goodridge, Driscoll-Glennon
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The Hype Train is an entertainment website founded in 2015, specialising in Fantasy sports reporting, starting with Fantasy Premier League (FPL), before expanding to MLS Fantasy coverage in 2018.
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