5 Talking points from Liverpool vs Burnley
Can VAR get here already?!
After watching the travesty of a goal City scored yesterday, I was all ready to get VAR in the Premier League. Watching Alisson get beaten up with no call during Burnley’s first goal only added to the desire. Championships should not be decided on obvious bad calls by the referees. There is no doubt that Liverpool just like any other team has benefited or suffered from poor calls at critical times in games. Perhaps it is part of being a fan but it sure feels like the Reds have been hurt more than they have benefited. Regardless, I would rather have VAR to make sure that every goal and penalty is deserved on the way to the title and the winner at the end got there with their play and not poor refereeing.
Is VAR perfect? No, but it sure is better than watching replays of obvious referee errors. If VAR is going to improve, it will be through its use and refinement. Premier League wanted to wait until VAR showed its use and effectiveness. Let’s hope that this decision does not cost the Reds more points and eventually a title.
Adam Lallana is not done yet
Every time you watch Lallana, you cannot avoid thinking about what could have been. He is perhaps the player we constantly crave and ask for in terms of having a presence in attack paired with great work-rate. His injuries however has stopped him from becoming the player he could be. There is a reason why Klopp rates him the way he does but the fans cannot seem to fall in love with Adam in the same way. I think we are all afraid to get too attached to his performances knowing or at least feeling that they will not be there for long with another injury around the corner. His performance today was one that the Reds could have used in several other games from midfield. His movement on and off the ball constantly helped create and his touch on the ball is pure class. Adam’s future with the club remains to be seen but he was without doubt the Man of the Match today with his performance.
The tricks of the schedule
The last two weeks made it hard on the Reds with Manchester City playing before us. It made the game a must win and only added to the nerves. The tide might turn this coming weekend with Liverpool playing to regain the top spot with an extra game played with City not playing. This could now help the Reds pile on the pressure by getting ahead and hopefully putting some additional pressure on Manchester City.
Crucial period for Liverpool
Liverpool just entered a very crucial 10 day with 2 key games in the Premier League to stay in the title chase and the second leg of the Champions League. A bad period could cost them to drop out of the last two trophies they are in the hunt for. Win against Burnley ensures that they are still chasing City and will continue to do so. A very winnable game against Fulham awaits in the Premier League but the Reds will have to go to Germany midweek to continue their pursuit of the Champions League.
I think most fans would rather get the Premier League title. Champions League seems secondary but is still crucial in showing the intentions of this club to go back to being one of the top teams in Europe. With some of the shocking results of this week, next rounds can bring some very favorable match ups which makes this round even more important. If Liverpool can progress in the Champions League, it will not bring in more funds for future reinforcements but also makes Anfield a preferred destination for players looking for success and exposure.
Midfield choices.. message to players or preparations for Champions League?
A week ago, the substitution of Llana is probably the most talked about as he was chosen over Keita and Shaqiri. Most fans were outraged prior to the game when they saw Adam in the starting lineup. While Lallana’s performance justified the decision, it definitely brings up a lot of questions along with it.
While Keita got a chance to get some minutes in, Shaqiri never got a chance. It was odd to see both on the bench with Liverpool expected to have more of the ball and on the attack. It will be very interesting to see if either one makes the starting lineup against Bayern to see if this was just to keep them fresh for that game or it simply shows that Klopp is not ready to trust them fully when it comes to fulfilling their midfield responsibilities especially defensively. Both players are very talented on the ball but I think Klopp is still looking for more of their play off the ball and how they fit in the way the team plays.