Alexander-Arnold 8/10, Mane 7/10 as Liverpool stay perfect with rout of Burnley
Liverpool continued their 100 percent start to their Premier League campaign with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Burnley at Turf Moor. An own goal from Chris Wood, a calm finish from Sadio Mane and a long-range strike from Roberto Firmino sealed the deal for Jurgen Klopp’s men, who moved two points clear at the top of the table ahead of Sunday’s action.
The Reds were fluent and confident going forward, and never really allowed Burnley to get into any kind of a rhythm. They didn’t panic on the ball, and the physical presence of their opponents never even came close to influencing the game.
One of the few things that can be held against the Reds is that they allowed Burnley far too much space at times, especially in the first half. A few risky challenges could’ve cost them and although they got away with it, this could’ve been a very different story had the Clarets been a bit more clinical in front of goal.
Manager rating out of 10
7 — The popular Liverpool boss stuck with the system that got him to the dance, implementing a strong 4-3-3 from the word go. It’s rare to see him stick with the same starting XI, and doing so paid off here in the form of a comprehensive win. He didn’t waver late in the game, and only made changes due to injury or to give fringe players a run out.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Adrian, 7 — An incredibly capable replacement for Alisson once again, never looking like he was in any real danger. Made a strong save from Chris Wood in the second minute which could’ve taken the game down a very different path.
DF Andrew Robertson, 7 — Wasn’t shy to bomb forward at every available opportunity. Made the left side of the pitch his own and was a constant thorn in the hosts’ side.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 7 — The UEFA Men’s Player of the Year was able to dictate the pace of play at the back and served as a rock for Liverpool once again.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 8 — As consistent and confident as ever, the youngster’s 27th minute clearance in the box prevented Burnley from taking an unlikely lead. His cross-cum-shot gave the visitors the lead via a Burnley deflection in the 33rd minute, and that efficiency never subsided.
MF Georginio Wijnaldum, 6 — Was forced into playing the ball backwards early on under pressure, but didn’t create too many issues for his side — although the same was true of his attacking play.
MF Fabinho, 6 — Made a series of needless challenges that could’ve cost Liverpool had they not found their attacking stride.
MF Jordan Henderson, 7 — Showed more of an attack-minded mindset than usual, and wasn’t afraid to carry the ball forward when called upon. Substituted off in the 71st minute following a potential injury.
FW Sadio Mane, 7 — Was able to give his side breathing space with a nice goal in the 37th minute. Was visibly frustrated after being subbed out after Mohamed Salah had failed to play him in.
FW Roberto Firmino, 7 — Fought well and came into the game more in the second half after an unconvincing first 45 minutes. Started and finished the Reds’ third goal with a delightful move alongside Salah in the 80th minute and was substituted five minutes later.
FW Mohamed Salah, 7 — The Egyptian was on good form in Lancashire, smashing a shot off the post in the fifth minute. While he may not have scored, that creative influence was certainly in play, especially after he set up Firmino for the third goal.
MF Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, N/R — Served as a solid enough replacement for Henderson after coming on in the 71st minute. Had a nice opportunity following a Liverpool counter, but his shot went straight at the keeper.
FW Xherdan Shaqiri, N/R — Didn’t make much of an impact after being brought on in order to help Liverpool see out the result.
FW Divock Origi, N/R — The Champions League hero fought well and looked hungry, but no clear-cut chances came his way.