A distraught Moh’ Salah’s pix says it all.
In football 90 minutes is a long time and a goal in the dying moments of the game could be a nerve wrecker for to the loser, champion or rookie. Struggling relegation bencher, Burnley proved that point in their one goal defeat of defending champions Liverpool on Thursday night. And at where? Anfield with all the regular players in full throttle; Sade Mane, Moh’ Salah, Fabinho, Firmino, Origi, Wijnaldum, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Matip, Thiago Alacantra, name them.
The EPL defending champions had 72 per cent ball control of the game but the decisive moments came for Burley, seven minutes to go, they got a penalty in the 83rd minutes through an Alison foul which Barnes converted from the spot and sealed the Red’s hope for the remaining 11 minutes plus extra-time.
“Liverpool have stumbled and stuttered going forward, lacking ideas, and now they’ve been breached by a cool, calm spot kick from Barnes.
Burnley have done what no side has managed since Crystal Palace in April 2017. They have beaten Liverpool in the league at Anfield. The Reds’ 68-game unbeaten run ends.
The loss pushed Liverpool down the table to fourth position below league leaders Manchester United, second placed Manchester City, Leicester and just above next opponent Tottenham Hot Spurs with one point at 34 to 33 points. Spurs has a game in hand, beside their next match with the Liverpool. For Burnley, the win lifted them to 16th position, seven points clear from relegation zone for now. But more importantly, it would boost their morale and give, perhaps, the pep to aim higher and stay on for next season.
As Mark Lawrenson, BBC football expert aptly puts it:
“Liverpool look like they are just not going to score tonight and that’s because the crossing hasn’t been great, the finishing hasn’t been top drawer and defensively Burnley have been excellent.
Let’s give credit where credit is due because Burnley have been extremely well organised, they have been outstanding defensively and Nick Pope was excellent.
Liverpool didn’t really create that many chances – apart from the golden ticket chance in the first half for Origi. There are too many occasions for Liverpool tonight where they had an extra touch, their crossing into the box wasn’t particularly good, the passing generally wasn’t good.
This is an accumulation of performances where they have just not quite been at it. There’s only one way fort hem to get out of this and that’s to work even harder.”