Proof that Liverpool’s 2-0 loss against Burnley was a circumstantial defeat, rather than something that will consistently occur this season.
On Saturday, Liverpool absolutely smashed Hull City, beating the Tigers 5-1. Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane, Philippe Coutinho and two penalties from James Milner secured a convincing win for the Reds.
When Burnley beat Liverpool 2-0 in August, the visitors had 80.4% possession. Being that dominant really should translate into a material return in the form of goals but Sean Dyche’s side held out and deservedly won the game.
Against Hull City, Liverpool had 74.2% possession but scored 5 more goals. The main difference, according to Jurgen Klopp while speaking on Monday Night Football, is that there was far more movement in the final third:
“The big difference between Burnley and Hull was that the movements in the final third didn’t stop. In the last third, we didn’t have many options against Burnley. We shot too much. One pass more and we would have been brilliant. Against Hull, it was much better.
“Burnley deserved to win because they scored goals and we didn’t. We should have done better in the final third. We took it as an experience and learned from it.”
Many football enthusiasts often refer to when Celtic beat Barcelona in 2012, despite only have 11% of the ball. This shows that teams, while not very often, can win without having the ball for large periods of time.
The fact that Liverpool blitzed Hull City but failed to do so against Burnley suggests that the loss at Turf Moor may have been a fluke. While the Merseyside club has an appalling record against the ‘smaller’ sides in the league, Liverpool is in such rampant form this season that is it likely that they will beat any team they come up against.
The absence of Sadio Mane against Burnley was crippling as it removed the pace from the team that had already become so important to Klopp’s system. This will be something to consider when the Senegal attacker goes to the African Cup of Nations in January.
Liverpool will travel to Wales this weekend to play Swansea City before the international break after which Manchester United visit Anfield on the 17th of October. Klopp’s side are in blistering and will fancy their chances against both Swansea and United.