Sun | Mar 7, 2021

Burned - Liverpool’s 68-game home unbeaten streak comes to an end

Liverpool’s 68-game home unbeaten streak comes to an end

Published:Friday | January 22, 2021 | 12:14 AM
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah looks on after their English Premier League match against Burnley at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, England, yesterday.
Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah looks on after their English Premier League match against Burnley at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool, England, yesterday.

LIVERPOOL, England (AP):

Liverpool’s 68-match unbeaten streak at Anfield in the English Premier League ended with a 1-0 loss to Burnley yesterday in the latest setback of a fading title defence.

Ashley Barnes scored from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute after the forward was brought down by goalkeeper Alisson Becker as Burnley became the first team to win in the league at Anfield since April 2017.

“We lost a game which I think it’s actually impossible to lose,” manager Jürgen Klopp told broadcaster Sky Sports. “But we did it, and that’s my fault because my job is to make sure that the boys have the right feelings – the right amount of confidence, they make the right decisions.”

It was Burnley’s first win at Liverpool since 1974, and it leaves Klopp’s side six points behind leaders Manchester United halfway through their title defence, having not scored in four successive games.

“We had the ball a lot, we created some situations, but in the final moment, obviously, our decision-making is not right at the moment. That’s the problem,” Klopp said. “I have to make it clearer. How you come in behind their last line, these kind of things. That’s the job we have to do.”

Frustrations boiled over at the halftime whistle as Barnes reacted angrily to Fabinho appearing to flick out at him, provoking a small melee, but referee Mike Dean only showed the Brazilian a yellow card. Meanwhile, Klopp and Burnley manager Sean Dyche had their own heated exchange as they headed down the tunnel.

‘All good’

“I didn’t start it, but it’s nothing,” Klopp said. “All good.”

While Liverpool is chasing a record-equalling 20th English title, Burnley are trying to stay in the league, and they moved seven points above the drop zone.

“We knew if we keep believing we will get something,” Barnes said. “We were growing into the game. We managed to stick to our jobs, slow everything down, and it worked.”

Liverpool was again made to pay for their lack of a cutting edge – having left the out-of-form Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino on the bench for an hour – and the team has now gone seven hours and 18 minutes without scoring in the league.

The only point taken off Liverpool at home in last season’s title charge came in a draw with Burnley.

Dyche’s team finished this game with the same amount of possession – 29 per cent – but crucially went one better.

Burnley employed similar tactics of defending resolutely, competing physically, and taking the opportunity when it arose.

The same could not be said for Klopp’s side, which had 27 attempts but only six on target.