Liverpool strengthened their bid for a place in the top four with a 3-0 win over Burnley at Turf Moor on Wednesday evening.
Despite Liverpool’s early dominance the best chance in the opening half an hour came Burnley’s way as Matthew Lowton’s long ball over the top fell to Chris Wood but the frontman lashed his effort wide.
The Clarets’ chance seemed to spark Liverpool into life and within five minutes both Thiago Alcantara and Mohamed Salah had fantastic opportunities to open the scoring, though neither even managed to work rookie top-flight goalkeeper Will Norris.
The visitors finally took the lead with just two minutes to go in the first half, as Sadio Mane and Andy Robertson combined well down the Liverpool left before the Scotsman pulled the ball back to Roberto Firmino who applied the finish.
Jurgen Klopp’s side took a firm grip on proceedings five minutes into the second half as Mane yet again proved instrumental as he stepped past Johann Berg Gudmundsson before chipping the ball into Nathaniel Phillips, who powered his header home.
The gloss was added to a professional performance late on as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain drilled home a wicked strike to ensure Liverpool leapfrogged Leicester into the Champions League places with just one game of the season remaining.
Will Norris (GK) – 5/10 – His first ever Premier League appearance for Burnley. Will be disappointed with his role in the Liverpool opener having come so close to saving it.
Matthew Lowton (RB) – 7/10 – Nice ball over the top to Wood but the New Zealand international couldn’t apply the finish. Was lively all game considering the lack of possession his side enjoyed.
James Tarkowski (CB) – 6/10 – Dominant in the air and managed to repel most of Liverpool’s crosses. Produced a stunning last-ditch block to deny Mane late in the first half but couldn’t keep the Reds’ frontline at bay.
Ben Mee (CB) – 6/10 – Did excellently to track Salah’s run in the opening stages before blocking the Liverpool man’s effort. Unlucky to be on the losing side.
Charlie Taylor (LB) – 7/10 – Did a brilliant job of surging down the left when given the chance and more often than not put a decent ball into the box.
Josh Brownhill (RM) – 6/10 – Aside from Wood the former Bristol City man looked the most likely Burnley player to get his name on the scoresheet, though Alisson denied him on a couple of occasions.
Jack Cork (CM) – 5/10 – Industrious and combative in midfield but couldn’t help overstepping the mark and gave away a couple of needless fouls. Allowed Firmino to run beyond him to open the scoring.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson (AM) – 4/10 – Added a bit of guile to the midfield but switched off as Robertson ran past him in the build-up to the Liverpool opener, and then was beaten by Mane for the second.
Ashley Westwood (CM) – 6/10 – Sat deepest of the Clarets midfielders and knitted up play with the backline. Showed a good range of passing to force the Liverpool backline to head back towards their own goal.
Dwight McNeil (LM) – 6/10 – Played more like a left-back for much of the game as Liverpool dominated possession. Subsequently wasn’t given the chance to showcase his attacking ability.
Chris Wood (ST) – 6/10 – Given the thankless task of leading the Burnley line alone but showed some brilliant touches to keep hold of the ball and invite his teammates forward. Showed a real lack of composure when his big chance came as he lashed his effort wide.
Matej Vydra (ST) – 6/10
Alisson Becker (GK) – 6/10 – Couldn’t decide whether to stay on his line or rush out when Wood was played through on goal and it very nearly cost his team. Did what was expected of him but didn’t score a single goal.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) – 6/10 – Couldn’t produce the same amount of quality as Robertson did on the opposite flank but was a threat nonetheless. Defensive lapses continued to hinder his game as Charlie Taylor got the better of him.
Nathaniel Phillips (CB) – 8/10 – Seemed to be pinpointed by Chris Wood as the weak link in the Liverpool backline but he coped well with the big man. Powerful header to double Liverpool’s lead on the night and cleared one off the line midway through the second half.
Rhys Williams (CB) – 5/10 – Brave block early on to head Matthew Lowton’s goal-bound effort over the crossbar. Looked really shaky stepping into the wide areas and was caught out on a number of occasions.
Andy Robertson (LB) – 8/10 – Was brilliant all evening down the Liverpool left and had a huge hand in helping the Reds open up Burnley’s stubborn defence.
Thiago Alcantara (CM) – 6/10 – Missed a glorious opportunity to put his side ahead midway through the first half. Neat and tidy in possession but couldn’t make the most of his big chance when it arrived.
Fabinho (CM) – 6/10 – Did a good job of shackling Ben Mee at set pieces – a crucial part of picking up points at Turf Moor – and was solid in and out of possession.
Georginio Wijnaldum (CM) – 6/10 – Much better than he has been in recent weeks (though that’s not difficult). Got a grip on the game and ensured Liverpool weren’t overrun in midfield.
Mohamed Salah (RW) – 5/10 – Missed a hatful of chances to open the scoring and to extend Liverpool’s lead. Not his finest hour.
Roberto Firmino (ST) – 7/10 – Nice bit of composure to open the scoring having spurned an earlier opportunity to put his side ahead. Replaced with ten minutes to play having made a crucial contribution.
Sadio Mane (LW) – 7/10 – Also guilty of missed opportunities but did well to pick out the run of Robertson as the visitors hit the front. More brilliant work to outfox Gudmundsson in the build-up to Liverpool’s second.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (CM) – 7/10 – Very nice strike late on to make it 3-0.
James Milner (CM) – N/A
Kostas Tsimikas (LB) – N/A