Liverpool 2-1 Burnley: Emre Can goal boosts top-four hopes

Liverpool vs Burnley

4:00pm Sunday 12th March

Anfield   (Att: 53145)

Liverpool came from behind to beat Burnley 2-1 at Anfield and maintain their hopes of a top-four finish this season

The away side took a seventh-minute lead through Ashley Barnes, but Georginio Wijnaldum equalised with the last kick of the first half and Emre Can hit a fine long-range goal in the second half to earn the victory for Jurgen Klopp’s below-par side.

Liverpool remain fourth, but with all of their top-six rivals in FA Cup action this weekend they are now just one point behind Tottenham and Manchester City – having played a game more – and five clear of fifth-placed Arsenal, who have two matches in hand.

The final scoreline was perhaps harsh on a Burnley side who hadn’t won a Premier League away game all season and dominated the first half.

They claimed the lead through a high-quality goal with just seven minutes on the clock. Matt Lowton’s brilliant low ball cut the Liverpool defence apart and a sliding Barnes prodded in at the far post.

On his return from suspension, Barnes then volleyed narrowly wide from an offside position after Stephen Ward’s brilliant cross opened up Liverpool’s defence again, before Andre Gray flashed a shot over the bar from an acute angle.

With Roberto Firmino out injured, Klopp was forced to start Divock Origi and he narrowly failed to get his head on the end of Sadio Mane’s cross in front of a frustrated Anfield.

But with Burnley seconds away from going into the dressing room with a deserved lead, Wijnaldum struck an equaliser to turn the game on its head.

Origi curled a cross from the left into the area and Wijnaldum’s back-heeled volley fortuitously rebounded off Ben Mee back into his path and he hit a fierce shot past the returning Tom Heaton from near the penalty spot.

Liverpool took the lead just after the hour, but not before Klopp had made a big call by replacing underperforming playmaker Philippe Coutinho with 17-year-old Ben Woodburn.

And seconds later Origi presented Can with the ball 25 yards from goal and he struck a sweet strike across Heaton – who perhaps should have done better – and in off the post to complete the turn-around.

Mane might have added a third from inside the area in the final minute but Heaton tipped his effort over the bar before Lowton spurned a glorious chance for Burnley, who remain seven clear of danger in 12th, to claim a draw in injury time.

The full-back latched on to a flicked header from Michael Keane, but let the ball bounce and lashed his shot over the bar from six yards

Klopp will celebrate the result, if not the performance, as the top-four race intensifies further next Sunday as Liverpool travel to Manchester City live on Sky Sports. Burnley will visit Sunderland on Saturday afternoon still seeking their first league win on the road this season.

Player ratings

Liverpool: Mignolet (7), Clyne (6), Matip (6), Klavan (6), Milner (6), Wijnaldum (8), Can (8), Lallana (6), Coutinho (5), Mane (6), Origi (7). Subs: Woodburn (6), Lucas (6)

Burnley: Heaton (6), Lowton (7), Keane (6), Mee (6), Ward (7), Barton (6), Hendrick (6), Arfield (7), Boyd (7), Gray (7), Barnes (8). Subs: Brady (6), Vokes (6), Agyei (n/a)

Man of the Match: Emre Can

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