Burnley keeper Nick Pope a modest man of the match at Liverpool

Nick Pope was modesty personified after a man of the match display at Anfield played a key role in Burnley becoming the first to deny Liverpool maximum points on home turf since January 2019.

Saturday, 11th July 2020, 5:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 11th July 2020, 5:34 pm
Nick Pope defends his goal under pressure from Sadio Mane

The Premier League champions had won 24-successive games at home, since Leicester last escaped with a point.

But the Clarets extended their own superb run to one defeat in 13 games, as they came from a goal down to end Liverpool’s hopes of completing the season with a perfect home record - which has never been done in the Premier League.

Andy Robertson put Liverpool ahead with a brilliant header from a Fabinho cross, and Pope made superb stops from Mo Salah and Sadio Mane to keep Burnley in the game.

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However, Jay Rodriguez continued his fine form with a third goal in four games to level matters, and the Clarets could have won it, with Johann Berg Gudmundsson hitting the bar late on.

Pope said of his afternoon’s work: “It was nice to be involved, you come to big grounds like this and expect to be busy, they’re Premier League champions for a reason, so you’ve got to be ready for action, and I was fortunate enough to keep a couple out.”

Asked which was his best save, he added: “It’s that long ago now I’m not really sure! The first one (from Salah) felt like I was nearly behind the line by the time I’d saved it, so I was happy that went round the post.”

With both Pope and Alisson conceding, the former remains one clean sheet ahead of his rival in the race for the Golden Glove, with Ederson of Manchester City also in the mix, and Pope was pleased the Brazilian hadn’t gone level on 14 shut outs: “He hasn’t, and I’ve not got away from him, so we carry on, he’s been top end for two seasons and he was class again today, he’s a top, top goalkeeper, so to be up there with him is an honour.”

Looking at the game as a whole, Pope felt Burnley responder really well to going behind: “We pushed on second half, really after they scored I thought we did really well, created chances of our own, every set piece we looked dangerous, every ball in the box, and unfortunately it just wouldn’t go in for us again.

“Second half it was about carrying on from where we left off after the goal, how we reacted then, we started to press a bit higher, win the second ball a bit higher, win set pieces, and make chances of our own.

“And it nearly worked.

“I don’t think there is a secret, we work hard, we’ve got a good togetherness, a great group of players who work as hard as we possibly can, and that’s a massive part of it, and it’s day in, day out at the training ground as well. We don’t just rock up without a plan or method, a lot of thought goes into it and it’s all glued together by the people.”