You need to win games like this, too. But boy, that was nervy all the way through.
Not that Turf Moor is ever a particularly hospitable place to visit; playing conditions are often downright disgusting, and the home side are, by necessity, far more used to them than is any visitor. The first half provided a repeated illustration of the problem, as the Liverpool backside kept getting exposed by what appeared to be due to the increased difficulty of judging the flight of the ball under these circumstances, combined with always playing an extremely aggressive line at the back. You could also see it happening with those otherwise routine passes that kept going out on the far side from the perspective of the TV broadcast, something that happened to Burnley a fair bit in the second half as well.
In the end, though, Burnley had the better chances, and Liverpool is going back to merseyside with three points, which is a fair summary of both teams’ season so far.
With the front line more or less quiet, it remained to the Reds’ most consistent finisher at the moment to actually put something up on the score board. Fabinho did it with his usual tenacity, putting himself in the right place at the right moment hoping for something, and when the something happens, driving the ball home. He still had to effecitvely do it twice in quick succession to finally squeeze it once past that resolute Clarets backline. Five in seven and a great show for the Brazilian, whom I propose we rename temporarily as “Get-in-ho”. His goal, incidentally, was very Jota-like. The real article came in at the hour mark, and got remarkably close to sealing up the game. He also seemed to add a bit of punch on the left.
It’s always an uncomfortable admission as to the nature of the game when you win but your keeper gets the nod as man-of-the-match. I find myself compelled to award Alisson – again – the designation, because it was solely due to him that this crucial tie did not end up as an unfortunate accident. Great show from the, well, Brazilian, which is exactly what I just said a few sentences back.
So, you know. Samba Tango.
Much as it sounds absurd, it should get a bit easier against Inter. This tells you both about the strength of the Premier League, as well as the nature of the Champions League at this stage. Let’s hope the boys can find their proper scoring boots soon, because the games are coming in thick and fast, and unlike in previous seasons, we’re still somehow playing in every possible competition, even as Klopp more or less always tries to lose in the domestic cups early.
Hey, who knows, maybe we’ll stumble on a quadruple season totally by mistake.
Now that would be reason for a real samba.