The Late Liverpool Echo!
Wednesday 4th March 2015 @8pm Kick-Off
First of all an apology from the Editor on the lateness of this Match Report but he was sunning himself in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt for a week! It was not good news anyway though with the Clarets going down 2-0 to Liverpool at Anfield to remain firmly ensconced in the relegation zone. They remain second from bottom with 22 points from now 28 games with only ten matches left to try and ensure survival. At least QPR lost their game advantage going down 2-1 at home to Spurs on Saturday and they remain just above Burnley on goal difference only. The Clarets too face a tricky match at home next to second placed club and current Premier League Champions, Manchester City on Saturday. This will be the fifth game of a horrendous sequence of eight matches against clubs in the top ten with Southampton away and Spurs and Arsenal at home to follow. At Anfield last Wednesday night Jordan Henderson continued his good form as Liverpool captain standing in for the injured skipper Steven Gerrard. He scored the first goal after 29 minutes smashing home a 20-yard shot to give Liverpool the lead and then set up another after crossing the ball for Daniel Sturridge to head home in the 51st minute. In the end it was a comfortable victory for the Reds and the Clarets could have few complaints.
Sean Dyche named the same starting line-up for the fourth consecutive game. Our line-up therefore was as follows :
Heaton, Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Mee, Boyd, Arfield, Jones, Kightly, Ings, Barnes
Subs: Gilks, Duff, Ward, Reid, Wallace, Vokes, Jutkiewicz
Full Match Report
Heaton was forced to a quality save down to his left when a sharp combination between Raheem Sterling, Adam Lallana and Sturridge led to the striker finding some space inside the box and unleashing a dangerous effort after just 26 seconds.
Martin Škrtel then couldn`t keep his header down following a corner in a fast-paced start by the Reds.
But despite Liverpool enjoying the majority of possession, Burnley soon settled into the match by keeping a solid, defensive shape and beginning to mount pressure on the opposition defence themselves.
However, Heaton had to produce another stop, this time to push aside Henderson`s low effort from outside the penalty area on 24 minutes.
Five minutes later, the Burnley goalkeeper could do nothing to deny the Liverpool midfielder the opening goal of the game, though.
After an initial effort from Philippe Coutinho was blocked by Jason Shackell, the ball dropped to Henderson who unleashed a first-time, unstoppable strike from just outside the box to send the Reds into the lead.
And Coutinho could have added a second soon after when his superb effort from similar distance missed the target only by a whisker.
Liverpool now seemed to have found their passing rhythm and when Coutinho sent Sturridge through on goal just before the break, Heaton did superbly to deny the England international with his feet.
There was no stopping Sturridge shortly after the restart, however.
Henderson`s ball over the top to the far post was inch-perfect and Sturridge calmly guided his header low into the corner and beyond the reach of Heaton to double Liverpool`s advantage.
Burnley never stopped going, though.
Moments after Danny Ings saw his penalty appeal waved away by the referee, strike partner Ashley Barnes sent a low effort that whistled just the wrong side of the post.
Barnes was then replaced by Sam Vokes midway through the second half, as the Clarets looked for a way back into the contest.
But, after a less convincing spell, the Reds seemed to regain control of proceedings, without seriously testing Heaton in the game`s closing stages.
Burnley were never completely out of the encounter against a Liverpool side that confirmed their outstanding, recent form.
Taken from Burnley FC website
Liverpool: Mignolet, Can, Škrtel, Lovren;, Sterling (Lambert 90), Henderson, Allen, Moreno (Touré 73), Lallana, Coutinho; Sturridge (Johnson 83)
Subs not used: Ward, Williams, Marković, Balotelli
Goals: Henderson 29, Sturridge 51
Burnley: Heaton; Trippier, Keane, Shackell, Mee; Boyd, Arfield, Jones, Kightly (Wallace 52); Ings, Barnes (Vokes 66).
Subs not used: Gilks, Duff, Ward, Reid, Jutkiewicz
Booked: Yellow Card for Mee (84)
Possession: 63% Liverpool, 37% Burnley (Source: BBC Sport)
Referee: Lee Mason (Lancashire)
'We didn't start as we normally do and they are the form side in the league. They have moved a long way since we played them on Boxing Day and they have found clarity to their performances, that's quite obvious.'