Different arena. Different problems. This week, no soft centre for the Liverpool fearsome front line to exploit.
The result, however, was the same. True, it took a freakish own goal and a huge mistake to set up the two goals that were the foundations of the Liverpool win. The third from Roberto Firmino ten minutes from time just sealed the deal.
Jurgen Klopp’s men had stood up to the challenge posed by an organised and energetic Burnley outfit on their own Turf Moor patch.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s delivery deflected off Burnley striker Chris Wood to hand Liverpool the lead at Turf Moor
The huge deflection left Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope helpless as the ball agonisingly looped into the far corner of the net
Wood trudged away looking dejected after his inadvertent own goal had edged Liverpool a goal in front in Lancashire
It is victories like this at venues like this that can prove so crucial when the title is decided.
Teams sent out by Sean Dyche tend not to take prisoners and their ethic is summed up by their central defenders James Tarkowski and Ben Mee. If they are found wanting it will never be through lack of effort.
Liverpool have already shown their ability to adapt in the two previous Premier League matches. At Southampton, they needed to grind a result. They did.
Against Arsenal, they were at their fluent best at times. The win was waiting to happen as Arsenal were driven deeper and deeper. But manager Jurgen Klopp was guarded after that emphatic 3-1 win. He knew the work out that Burnley give teams.
The full back was mobbed by his teammates after his cross helped force the visitors’ first goal in bizarre circumstances
Liverpool’s lead was doubled on 37 minutes after Sadio Mane rounded off a three on two charge following Ben Mee’s mistake
Mane made no mistake in slotting across the helpless Pope and into the corner as Liverpool continued their title challenge
MATCH FACTS, PLAYER RATINGS AND LEAGUE TABLE
Burnley: Pope 6, Lowton 6, Tarkowski 7, Mee 5, Pieters 6, Lennon 5, Cork 6, Westwood 6, McNeil 6, Barnes 6 (Rodriguez 6, 72), Wood 6
Unused subs: Hart, Taylor, Drinkwater, Hendrick, Vydra, Long
Liverpool: Adrian 7, Alexander-Arnold 7, Matip 7, Van Dijk 7, Robertson 7, Fabinho 7, Henderson 7 (Oxlade-Chamberlain 6 70), Wijnaldum 7, Salah 8, Firmino 7 (Shaqiri 6, 84), Mane 7 (Origi 6, 84)
Unused subs: Kelleher, Milner, Gomez, Lallana
Referee: Christopher Kavanagh 7
Managers: Sean Dyche 7 and Jurgen Klopp 8
Man of the Match: Mohamed Salah
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This had all the makings of a contest where the pragmatism of the likes of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho would be as valuable to Klopp of the adventure of his star names up front.
And for the likes of UEFA player of the year Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip there was the prospect of subduing Ashley Barnes – over-looked by England manager Gareth Southgate but highly rated by Dyche.
But it was his partner in crime Chris Wood who gave Liverpool and early scare and along with it a wake-up call for Van Dijk.
With only two minutes gone, Wood turned inside the Dutch star and his shot across the Liverpool goal was turned away by Adrian. Liverpool woke up and three minutes later Salah bemused the Burnley defence with a shot that thundered against the post and away to safety.
The tone was set. Burnley – perhaps understandably under the arch-realist Dyche – sat deep and relied on long balls forward to feed Wood and Barnes. But now Van Dyke and Matip were ready. And in front of them the ever-reliable Henderson and Fabinho were there to guard the midfield.
The Senagalese forward coolly slotted beyond home shot stopper Pope after Firmino pounced on Mee’s loose pass
Mohamed Salah was also presented with a golden chance to open the scoring but was foiled by Pope’s quick reflexes
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp watched on as his side eased into a two-goal lead before the half-time break
True, Dwight McNeil showed flashes of his immense promise but for the most part it was Burnley’s resilience against Liverpool’s growing menace and there was an escape in the 2oth minute.
Henderson put Salah through but Nick Pope was alert enough to come out and block the ball with his feet. The rebounded against the Egypt international and bobbled wide. There was, however, no reprieve in the 32nd minute when Liverpool went ahead in the most bizarre circumstances.
Trent Alexander-Arnold clearly meant to cross the ball from the right. But Wood – not spurning his defensive duties – tried the block the ball. Instead, it deflected off his back, changed direction and pace and dipped over Pope.
On such freak moments do the results of matches hinge – and Burnley saw all their effort and sweat undermined in an instant.
Visitors’ skipper Jordan Henderson was substituted after appearing to pick up a blow to the hip in the second half
Firmino attempted an acrobatic volley as Liverpool searched for a third goal to add to their tally in the second half
Concentration lapsed and it was the unfortunate Mee who was the be the villain with a mishit pass that his contribution did not deserve.
With 36 minutes gone, Mee had time to bring the ball out and clear safely. Instead his lax pass gave Firmino possession some 30 yards out and that was asking for trouble. It duly arrived.
The Brazil front man ran towards the Burnley area, drew the outnumbered Tarkowski and that left time and space for Mane to stroke the ball past Pope.
Burnley were stunned. They needed to respond and they knew the next goal would be crucial.
They battled to give a meaningful opening for Barnes and Wood – but when one came, it was squandered. Barns found space at the edge of the Liverpool area but composure was not his ally on this occasion. A clear shot at goal was struck with power but no direction and the ball sailed high and very wide.
And the Brazilian eventually netted the visitors’ final goal of the clash to round off another impressive showing
Firmino was embraced by substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after the striker had ensured a spot on the score sheet
Burnley recovered their rhythm in the second half and McNeil forced a free kick – but again Liverpool showed they had resolve at the back to match their ambition up front.
Dyche looked cut a figure displaying more and more frustration and the sheer movement and pace of Salah began to cause more and more uncertainty in a Burnley defence that had looked so capable until the own goal.
Salah hit the side netting and then a menacing effort was blocked by Erik Pieters. But on the hour, Salah showed the selfish side to his nature as he worked an opening but with Firmino in the clear. Salah decided to shoot and the effort was tame. Pope was delighted. Firmino was not.
But as Burnley showed more adventure, gaps appeared for Liverpool to use and after one spell of possession, Henderson crossed and Firmino’s volley was cleared by Mee.
But come the 65th minute and a rare moment of worry for Liverpool when Henderson went down after colliding with Aaron Lennon, and he was replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the 70th minute.