Hiding to Nothing at Anfield & Nothing We Got !
Saturday 12th September 2009 @3pm KO
The Clarets were thumped 4-0 in the clash against Liverpool at Anfield yesterday. A hat trick by Yossi Benayoun and a goal by Dirk Kuyt were enough to send Burnley crashing to their third consecutive away defeat on the road. In the three away games we have played so far in the Premier League we have leaked nine goals and failed to score a single one.
Well yes, in two of those matches we have faced a high quality moneybags top team in Chelsea and Liverpool and nobody would have expected the Clarets to come away with any points but nevertheless it is disappointing in terms of the manner of defeat, especially yesterday.
I spent most of the match yesterday wondering if the complete domination by Liverpool was down purely to the fact they were in a different class or whether the Clarets were not helping by playing below their best too. You just can`t help thinking our performances of late against Chelsea and Liverpool could have been better with a tighter defence and more umph up front. For the first twenty minutes or so and up until Liverpool got their first goal on 27 minutes, the Clarets, I thought looked quite impressive. It was reminiscent of the performances we had put in over 90 minutes leading to the surprise home victories against Manchester United and Everton. We were getting stuck in but after their first goal, we just seemed to capitulate so much that in the end it was hard to recall any meaningful shot on goal by the Clarets.
Owen Coyle said after the game:
"We started really well, and looked comfortable. But if you switch off against players like these, you will be punished. I can't argue with the result, we were playing against world-class players. But I was annoyed with the first goal we conceded, we backed off and allowed Yossi Benayoun to get his shot in.'
The result though is not a disaster; these are games where any point would be a bonus not an expectation and so far after beating Manchester United and Everton (albeit at home at Fortress Turf Moor) we have six bonus points already and are sitting in a creditable 11th place in the table although that could change slightly after Sunday`s games. The game at Liverpool brought to an end the 'baptism of fire` run of four consecutive games against a team finishing in the Top 5 of the Premier League last season. How many Clarets fans , indeed any fan or football pundit would have thought after playing Manchester United, Everton, Chelsea and Liverpool we would have six points to the good?
We have to be positive about our situation and not get too downhearted. The games we have to win are against those sides likely to be struggling and in a relegation scrap at the end of the season plus we then have to hope we can pick up points as best we can against the sides likely to finish in mid-table. One such side at the moment that look to be heading for a mid-table finish are Sunderland, the team we face next at Turf Moor on Saturday. They have started well though and are currently 6th with 9 points so this is another game that won`t be easy and we should not take them for granted either despite beating United and Everton in front of a buoyant packed home crowd. It is though probably crucial for the sake of the team`s confidence that we get some points on the table from this game next week.
However that`s for next Saturday, I guess I better return to the Liverpool game despite it being pretty painful to write!
How did we line up yesterday? It was in the end quite a predictable starting eleven and indeed the same one that recently faced Chelsea, Everton and Manchester United. There was however one change to the bench. New loan signing striker, David Nugent replaced Christian Kalvenes which was in fact also a statement of attacking intent with Steven Thompson also included.
The eighteen therefore was as follows:
Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Jordan, Alexander, Elliott, McCann, Blake, Fletcher, Paterson
Subs: Penny, Gudjonsson, McDonald, Guerrero, Eagles, Nugent, Thompson
The Clarets started off brightly and after just 38 seconds Martin Paterson got in a right-footed shot from the edge of the box but the ball flew wide of target. Seven minutes into the game and Albert Riera had to clear the danger from the near post following a Blake corner with the Clarets at this stage looking positive and playing some neat football. A cross by Mears after 13 minutes looked dangerous but Carragher defended well.
The Red`s best early chance came when a chip from Emiliano Insua was headed a foot wide by the lively and threatening Benayoun.
Liverpool though were now getting more and more into the game and we simply could not afford a moment`s lapse in concentration. You just sensed though that Liverpool would take the lead and that is exactly what they did on 27 minutes.
Benayoun surged through midfield, got the better of Alexander and headed towards the box where he let rip with a lethal shot that shot across Jensen and into the bottom corner.
The Clarets heads were not totally down at this stage and they still managed to try a few attempts to get the equaliser. Jose Reina saved a Paterson shot on 35 minutes and two minutes later Gerrard had to clear the danger following a Blake cross.
But with five minutes to go until half-time Liverpool struck again after a simply stunning break out from defence involving five players in the build up. Torres eventually linked superbly with Insua to set up danger man, Benayoun who let rip with a 20 yard stunner. It looked like Jensen had it covered but he could only block the ball to Kuyt who simply tapped home the ball from five yards to give Liverpool a two-nil lead and effectively put the game out of sight for the Clarets.
Coyle in typical fashion made no changes for the start of the second-half and it was clear from the start this was not going to be our day with the Clarets unable to make any meaningful excursion into the Liverpool half as the game progressed to its inevitable conclusion.
It is virtually impossible to think of any Burnley attack in the second half with Liverpool completely dominant and the Clarets now chasing shadows. I don`t think we had been in the Liverpool half when Coyle made his first substitution after 57 minutes and the introduction of Eagles for Blake had almost no effect whatsoever.
By now it was purgatory to watch for Clarets fans and it was only a matter of time before Liverpool made it 3-0 (and probably more before the final whistle went)
That third goal came on 61 minutes. Gerrard picked up a pass from Torres and steam-rollered his way through our lacklustre defence getting past two men and into the box before laying-off the ball to Benayoun at the far post. He simply had to tap the ball home
At long last it was now time to see what our new signing could do. David Nugent came on for Martin Paterson after 68 minutes. Maybe he could just get a consolation goal or two in the remaining 20 minutes of play, couldn`t he? Er No he couldn`t as the Liverpool battering continued.
On 81 minutes, the number of Clarets fans leaving the ground went up a notch after Liverpool made it 4-0. Voronin's pass sent Benayoun clear into the box and he simply had to side foot the ball past Jensen with the defence nowhere to be seen to complete his hat-trick and complete the misery for Burnley fans.
This was simply a very bad day at the office where we were taught a lesson by a top, quality side. I know it`s Liverpool but we have to buck up our ideas and start playing like we know we can. The stats though say it all with Liverpool having 60% of the possession with 16 shots on target compared to our three!
On a bright sunny day in Liverpool and boy had we to suffer that sun in our eyes all afternoon in the away end, it was a shame we couldn`t have put on a better show and at least got a goal but it was not to be and I now had to face a horrendous four-hour train journey back to Cambridgeshire changing four times having spent probably something like £150 for the day out. Sometimes you just wonder why we do it!! Bring on Sunderland!!
Liverpool: Reina, Johnson (Degen 64), Insua, Carragher, Skrtel, Gerrard, Riera, Benayoun, Lucas, Torres (Ngog 75), Kuyt (Voronin 69)
Subs Not Used: Cavalieri,Kyrgiakos, Dossena, Spearing.
Goals: Benayoun(3), Kuyt
Burnley: Jensen, Mears, Carlisle, Bikey, Jordan, Alexander (Gudjonsson 74), Elliott, McCann, Blake(Eagles 57), Fletcher, Paterson(Nugent 68)
Subs Not Used: Penny,, McDonald, Guerrero, Thompson
Referee: Lee Mason (Bolton)