Last season’s runners-up are the only team to have won all three of their matches in the new campaign, and they are favourites to keep that winning streak up today as Jurgen Klopp bids to do what even the likes of Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish never managed – winning 13 top-flight games in a row. Burnley stand in their way, though, and Sean Dyche‘s side never make it easy for teams here at Turf Moor.
Kickoff is just five minutes away, so let’s have a quick look at the team news before we get started…
SUBS: Vydra, Hendrick, Long, Taylor, Rodriguez, Drinkwater, Hart
SUBS: Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kelleher, Shaqiri, Milner, Origi, Gomez
KICKOFF: Here we go! Jordan Henderson gets us underway at Turf Moor!
SHOT! A quick start to the match as Liverpool immediately look to get on the front foot. The ball drops to Fabinho around 30 yards from goal and he tries an ambitious half-volley which flies well over.
CHANCE! Burnley go straight up the other end and almost break the deadlock! One long ball over the top sends Wood in behind and he cuts past Robertson before looking to tuck his finish into the bottom corner. Adrian gets down to make the save before Alexander-Arnold does enough to limit the damage to a corner.
That is an encouraging early start for Burnley, although replays show that Wood may have just strayed offside – VAR probably would have ruled it out had Wood scored.
OFF THE POST! Liverpool are inches away from breaking the deadlock as Salah crashes an effort against the post! Firmino and Mane are both involved in working the ball to Salah, who unleashes an instinctive first-time effort which almost found its way past Pope at the near post.
Liverpool enjoy their first real spell of sustained pressure and possession, although Dwight McNeil steps in with two important interceptions. Diligent defensive work from the Burnley man there.
SALAH HITS THE POST!
Chances at both ends already! Mo Salah crashes one against the post, nearly catching Nick Pope out. A lively start at Turf Moor!
There is a really good battle shaping up on Liverpool’s right between Alexander-Arnold and McNeil, the latter of whom has made a really bright start to this match for Burnley.
The Burnley defence is working really hard to limit Liverpool’s time on the ball, making sure there is someone immediately harrying any player who gets possession.
This is exactly what Liverpool would have expected in the opening 15 minutes here – nothing easy and no time on the ball so far. It is a finely poised match at the moment.
SHOT! McNeil wins the ball off Mane inside the Liverpool half and only has one thought in his mind, but his long-range effort takes a deflection on the way through and Adrian is able to gather.
CHANCE! Liverpool do finally carve a way through this stubborn Burnley defence as Henderson clips a clever pass in to Salah, whose first touch is just a little too heavy. Pope is quick off his line and gets there before Salah, but the ball comes back off the Liverpool winger and bounces just wide.
Firmino lifts the ball past one defender and lines up a shot with his left from outside the area, but there are a couple of Claret and Blue shirts in his way and the effort is blocked.
Alexander-Arnold floats a cross into the box which Mane collects at the back post before cutting inside and getting a shot away which is, again, deflected behind for a corner.
Henderson now fires a dangerous low cross into the box which Tarkowski clears right in front of his own keeper. Liverpool’s pressure just starting to grow again here.
Burnley hit back with a quick turnover in possession and Lennon swings a dangerous cross into the box which Alexander-Arnold does really well to clear over his own crossbar.
This has been an intriguing opening half-hour or so to this match. Burnley are not backing down – as you would have expected – and if Liverpool are to continue their 100% record this season then they will need to work very hard for it. The hosts aren’t offering too much of their own going forward, but at 0-0 they are always dangerous with crosses into the box especially.
Firmino is penalised for a high foot as Mee comes storming into a brace header which the Brazilian is trying to pull down. There was no contact, though, and no further action other than the free kick.
GOAL! BURNLEY 0-1 LIVERPOOL (CHRIS WOOD, OWN GOAL)
The ball is dropped back to Alexander-Arnold, who goes to swing another cross into the box. However, this time it takes a big deflection off Chris Wood before looping over Pope and into the top corner!
It may well go down as a Wood own goal – which would be very harsh – but however it came, Liverpool have the lead!
Burnley will be gutted about that. They have worked so hard to nullify this Liverpool attack, and then they go behind to a freak goal like that.
It is ruthless from the visitors as they punish Mee’s stray pass, which goes straight to Firmino. The Brazilian lays it into the path of Mane, who makes no mistake with his finish to leave Burnley with a mountain to climb here.
8 – Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Burnley have scored eight own goals in the Premier League; only Bournemouth (nine) have scored more. Freak.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 31, 2019
That quickfire double has made things a whole lot easier for Liverpool, but Sean Dyche will be feeling as though his side have been hard done by. One freak goal and one mistake have taken this game away from the hosts.
SHOT! Barnes and Wood make a nuisance of themselves in attack to fashion a half-chance for the former, who rather swipes at the ball but sends it well off target.
SHOT! Barnes has another shooting opportunity here as he finds a yard of space just outside the area, but this time he drags his strike wide of the target.
There will be one minute of added time at the end of this first half.
HALF TIME: BURNLEY 0-2 LIVERPOOL
The Reds by no means had things all their own way, though, and it was a real battle for half an hour before a quickfire double – via a piece of good fortune and a mistake – put things entirely in Liverpool’s control.
The Burnley striker was helpless to prevent the cross from deep taking a nick off his back on the way through, and that in turn sent it looping over Pope as Liverpool finally found the breakthrough in bizarre fashion.
Mee was at fault as he gifted possession straight to Firmino, who drove forward before laying the ball into the path of the overlapping Mane. From there, the Senegalese winger made no mistake to curl his finish into the bottom corner, leaving Burnley with a lot to do if they are to drag themselves back into the match.
30 – Since the start of last season, no Liverpool player has scored more goals in all competitions than Sadio Mane (30 – level with Mo Salah). Relentless. pic.twitter.com/chni7Fr20E— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 31, 2019
Burnley have carried a threat at times too, causing Liverpool problems and coming close as early as the second minute through Wood, but they will need to take a few more risks going forward if they are to get themselves back into this one.
KICKOFF: Burnley get us back underway for the start of the second half!
Liverpool are quickly on the front foot again at the start of this second half as they look to well and truly put this game to bed. Burnley worked very hard in that first half – as ever – but you fear they will begin to tire as this match progresses.
Burnley won’t change up their game plan too much – they will still look to cause Liverpool problems physically up front – but the visitors are dealing with that pretty well at the moment.
Liverpool will, of course, want another goal to put this game to bed once and for all, but they will also have one eye on a clean sheet – something they have not managed yet so far this season.
Firmino slides a pass through to Salah, who momentarily looks to be in on goal, but the assistant’s flag is raised.
Alexander-Arnold has had a couple of problems dealing with McNeil so far today. McNeil hasn’t really beaten the full-back much, but it has been a really good battle between the pair.
Alexander-Arnold may be the pantomime villain from the rest of the game here after cheekily kicking the ball away after Liverpool won a throw-in, just wasting a bit more time as he got back into position.
Not that he cares – Trent dances forward with some lovely footwork before flicking the ball through to Salah, who can only find the side-netting when trying to fire the ball back into the box.
Liverpool win a free kick in a good crossing position but work it cleverly, with Alexander-Arnold and Robertson playing it short and the former then picking up Salah with a low pass into the box. Salah keeps his first-time effort down, but his effort is blocked.
SAVE! Really selfish from Salah here as he works a yard of space on the edge of the box but then produces a tame right-footed shot which is easy for the keeper. Firmino was wide open inside the box and surely would have scored, but Salah went himself and then duly apologises.
You’d have to think that – had that situation been the other way round – then Firmino would have slid Salah in. Criticism of the Egyptian must be kept in context, but he can be a little selfish at times, particularly compared to the other two of the front three.
SHOT! Firmino goes for the spectacular as Henderson lifts the ball to him, almost inviting the scissor kick. The Brazilian acrobatically accepts, but doesn’t catch it perfectly and Burnley deal with the danger.
Concern for Liverpool here as Henderson goes down after a collision with Lennon and stays down, in some pain too. The free kick actually goes against the Liverpool skipper, but he has come off worst here.
Henderson is back on his feet and looks as though he’ll be fine to continue here despite Oxlade-Chamberlain being called back from his warm-up.
Burnley come forward as Barnes rather fortuitously keeps hold of possession and then tries to play Lennon through. However, the winger stopped his run in fear of going offside and Liverpool deal with the danger.
LIVERPOOL SUB: Henderson does indeed come off, although I’m not sure it’s because of the injury. On comes Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in his place.
SHOT! Ambitious from Van Dijk here – even for the UEFA Player of the Year! The defender, now wearing the armband, chests the ball down around 40 yards from goal and tries his luck – with his ‘weaker’ right foot – but fires it comfortably over the crossbar.
CHANCE! Decent opening for Burnley to get a goal which could drag them back into this match as Tarkowski climbs highest from a free kick but nods his effort over the crossbar.
BURNLEY SUB: Change for the Clarets here as Ashley Barnes is replaced by Jay Rodriguez.
Rodriguez is played clean through on goal by Wood, but he is denied first by Adrian and then by the offside flag. Better from Burnley, but Rodriguez just strayed.
Burnley’s pressure is just beginning to grow as they search for a may back into this match, but Liverpool are holding firm and have managed this second half very well so far.
SAVE! Burnley’s increasingly attacking approach leaves more space for Liverpool to attack and they come forward here, working the ball out to Oxlade-Chamberlain, whose powerful strike is straight at Pope.
GOAL! BURNLEY 0-3 LIVERPOOL (ROBERTO FIRMINO)
The Brazilian sparked the counter-attack with a ball through to Salah, who cut inside before leaving it for Firmino to fire home first time.
That is history for Firmino as he becomes the first Brazilian to score 50 Premier League goals, and also for Liverpool as they look set for their 13th successive top-flight win – a mark they have never previously managed in their illustrious history.
CHANCE! Chance for Liverpool to add a fourth, although again perhaps Salah is too selfish. Firmino plays the ball inside to Salah, who cuts inside but turns down a pass to an unmarked Mane in favour of chopping back again. That allows Pieters to get back in and make an important challenge just as Salah was about to pull the trigger.
LIVERPOOL SUBS: Double change for Liverpool here as Mane and Firmino are replaced by Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri.
Mane is fuming on the bench – not at being taken off, by the looks of things, but rather at the fact that Salah did not pass to him then.
CHANCE! Big chance for Burnley to salvage a consolation as Rodriguez is played through and manages to beat Van Dijk, leaving himself with only Adrian to beat. The keeper looks to have committed to early, but keeps himself big on the floor and saves the eventual effort.
There will be three minutes of added time at the end of this match.
CHANCE! Salah stabs a ball through to Wijnaldum, who almost takes it around Pope only for the Burnley keeper to get an important hand to the ball.
FULL TIME: BURNLEY 0-3 LIVERPOOL
Not many teams win so comfortably here at Turf Moor, but the Reds are on fire now – a club-record 13 top-flight wins in a row. A fortunate Chris Wood own goal got them on their way here, before goals from Mane and Firmino made sure of the points as Liverpool stay perfect heading into the first international break of the season.
Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight’s Premier League late kickoff as Liverpool make it four wins from four and 13 in a row in the top flight courtesy of victory over Burnley. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too.
From me, though, it is goodbye for now!