2017/2018 English Premier League
  • Mohamed Salah (30')
  • Scott Arfield (27')

Liverpool frustrated by stubborn Burnley in Anfield draw

Jurgen Klopp's complaints about a self-fulfilling prophecy came back to haunt him as Liverpool suffered more defensive dithering in a 1-1 draw at home to Burnley.

Liverpool's shortcomings at the back came under the microscope this week after they conceded a lead in the midweek Champions League draw with Sevilla.

And despite Klopp's protestations, the Clarets provided more evidence for the case against the defence.

Sean Dyche's well-drilled side took the lead through Scott Arfield with their first shot on target as hesitation by centre-backs Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan allowed the ball to drop between them in the penalty area.

Mohamed Salah's fifth goal of the season, his fourth in succession at Anfield, quickly restored parity.

But what followed was more a failure of Klopp's attack to break down Burnley's determined defence as they finished with 35 shots but just nine of those on target.

They went behind when Matip, under pressure from Chris Wood, and Klavan failed to deal with Robbie Brady's looping header from James Tarkowski's crossfield pass, giving Arfield time to rifle home a half-volley in the 27th minute.

Faced with a Burnley formation which on one occasion appeared to be 8-1-1, Emre Can opted for the direct route and was immediately rewarded. Salah, who was denied an earlier claim for a penalty after a challenge by Tarkowski, brought down his pass to fire low past Nick Pope.

Even the return of Philippe Coutinho for his first start of the season could not bring Liverpool a win as they laboured to find a way through without the injured Sadio Mane.

The Brazil international, who a month ago handed in a transfer request in an attempt to force a move to Barcelona, received a rapturous welcome but was probably guilty of trying too hard in the early stages.

He eventually settled down and proceeded to pull the strings in midfield.

It was virtually one-way traffic from there on -- Brady had Burnley's second shot on target with 13 minutes to go -- as Coutinho, Can, James Milner, Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold all had chances and substitute Dominic Solanke hit the crossbar from close range late on.

But Burnley's game plan held firm and they could have nicked it themselves when centre-back Ben Mee had one effort headed over by Matip and another saved by Simon Mignolet.

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English Premier League Standings

1 Manchester City 38 +79 100
2 Manchester United 38 +40 81
3 Tottenham Hotspur 38 +38 77
4 Liverpool 38 +46 75
5 Chelsea 38 +24 70
6 Arsenal 38 +23 63
7 Burnley 38 -3 54
8 Everton 38 -14 49
9 Leicester City 38 -4 47
10 Newcastle United 38 -8 44
11 Crystal Palace 38 -10 44
12 AFC Bournemouth 38 -16 44
13 West Ham United 38 -20 42
14 Watford 38 -20 41
15 Brighton & Hove Albion 38 -20 40
16 Huddersfield Town 38 -30 37
17 Southampton 38 -19 36
18 Swansea City 38 -28 33
19 Stoke City 38 -33 33
20 West Bromwich Albion 38 -25 31

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