Liverpool 2, Burnley 1

Burnley's frustrations on the road continued as they were beaten by Liverpool despite another spirited display at Anfield.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 12th March 2017, 6:56 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:45 am
Ashley Barnes celebrates opening the scoring against Liverpool
Ashley Barnes celebrates opening the scoring against Liverpool

The visitors, who restricted the Reds throughout, took the lead through Ashley Barnes only to be pegged back on the brink of half-time before being downed after the break.

The Clarets protected a lead for longer than they have done all season away from home, unfortunately the advantage that they had held for 39 minutes was ended with the final kick of the first half.

After Barnes opened the scoring in the sixth minute in front of the Kop, the away side never looked under any threat of conceding an equaliser until Divock Origi's cross fell perfectly for Georginio Wijnaldum inside the solitary minute of added time indicated by the fourth official.

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Ashley Barnes celebrates opening the scoring against Liverpool

With the fixture in its infancy, Burnley's George Boyd steered a volley just wide of the angle once Wijnaldum's headed clearance from Scott Arfield's corner only just cleared the 18-yard box.

But minutes later the visitors took a surprise lead. Matt Lowton was allowed to travel in to the final third unchallenged, pick his head up and thread a delightful cross in to the box for Barnes to stab the ball past Simon Mignolet at the back post.

The breakthrough should have sparked a backlash from the Reds but, just as they had been at Turf Moor earlier in the season, they were frustrated by a determined and disciplined opponent.

Instead it was the Clarets who looked to get their noses even further ahead. Boyd sliced wide of the upright from a set-piece after Joey Barton had been bundled to the ground.

Ashley Barnes celebrates opening the scoring against Liverpool

Barnes, having ghosted in to space between Ragnar Klavan and James Milner, then guided Stephen Ward's delivery wide, although the striker's mis-timed run was picked out by the linesman.

And Andre Gray lifted the ball over the bar when turning Joel Matip at the near post after Milner inadvertently flicked Lowton's throw in to the striker's feet.

The only moment where the home side forged half a chance, Wijnaldum blazed over the bar in to the visiting supporters from the edge of the penalty area.

However, the Dutchman proved more accurate with his next sight of goal and his finish was so cruel on Sean Dyche's side.

The former Feyenoord, PSV and Newcastle midfielder, signed for £25m in the summer, capitalised on a fortuitous ricochet off Ben Mee, after Origi had supplied the cross, and kept his cool to tuck the ball home from close range.

Again, in the second half, the Reds lacked the artistry to play through Burnley's banks, with goalkeeper Tom Heaton untested for the majority.

The England international, though, was beaten just after the hour. After Barnes failed to hit the target with two volleyed attempts at the opposite end, Emre Can allowed Origi's pass to roll across to his right foot before burying the ball in to the corner from 25 yards out.

Heaton, slightly unsighted by his wall of defenders, plunged to his post but his fingertips could only graze the ball before it hit the net.

Dyche responded in the following moments, introducing record signing Robbie Brady and striker Sam Vokes over the course of the second period in search of a deserved equaliser, and they went close.

When Mee headed Arfield's free kick toward the penalty spot, the ball broke kindly for Barnes who seemed certain to level proceedings. However, as soon as the ball left the forward's boot, Klavan threw himself desperately at his feet to block.

Play opened up as the Clarets committed men forward to chase the game but the hosts could only muster one more shot at goal.

Goalscorer Can cleverly scooped the ball in to the feet of Sadio Mane, after releasing the ball from under his feet, the Senegalese international was denied by a fantastic save from Heaton who pushed the shot over the bar.

Burnley went close again through Lowton deep in to time added on as the full back hit the ball over the crossbar but, with Liverpool seeing time out in the corners, the Clarets were nable to steal a point.