Liverpool picked up a comfortable 3-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday evening. It was a big step forward in the race for the Premier League’s top four.
No immediate change
Jurgen Klopp named the same team that beat West Brom but with one change – Gini Wijnaldum in for Curtis Jones. And what we got was a similar performance.
Liverpool created chances from the off but failed to put them away. Mohamed Salah missed a couple, Sadio Mane missed a relatively easy one, Roberto Firmino maybe should have scored earlier than he did. Thiago, too, will think he should have scored.
It’s been a recurring theme this season and it looks set to continue. Liverpool just can’t put teams away, even if they’re creating the chances to do so.
Phillips gets his moment
Nat Phillips got his goal – the first senior goal of his career. We couldn’t be happier that he found the net before the season was out.
Phillips may not have a long-term future at Anfield but he has undoubtedly left his mark on Liverpool. He’ll go down as a Liverpool goalscorer, too.
Fittingly, it was with his head. Phillips’ aerial dominance has been his trademark since earning regular first-team football. Him finding the net with one felt inevitable and he finally got it.
Salah has to wait
It just wouldn’t quite fall for Salah today, who remains level with Harry Kane in the race for the Golden Boot. He did have his chances, though.
He’ll go into Sunday needing to better what Kane can do against Leicester City. We’ll back him to do it as he hunts for a third Golden Boot in four years.
Hopefully, he has a bit more luck than he had today.
This is how Liverpool wanted games to go this season. Take a couple of chances, tighten up, and see out the game. The Reds have just consistently failed to take the chances.
They did so here, though, scoring twice before getting a third towards the end. A few more of these this season and Liverpool would be comfortable in the top four.
No, this wasn’t the finest performance in the world. But Liverpool did what was necessary and we haven’t seen that enough in 2021.
In their hands
Liverpool may only be ahead of Leicester on goal difference but top four is firmly in their hands. They’re now +4 over the Foxes and that means a win over Crystal Palace on Sunday effectively confirms it.
Unless Leicester win 6-0, of course, and who really knows when they’re playing Tottenham Hotspur?
But a 3-0 win over Burnley was a big step in the right direction for Liverpool. One more win and the Reds can be proud.