[Burnley 0 – 2 Liverpool].

This was a game the Reds were expected to win. But in the Premier League – especially this season – anything is always possible, and Boxing Day can, at times, get pretty outlandish. I’ll admit it; when Paul Tierney blew the final whistle I heaved a small sigh of relief. Because for the last twenty minutes in regulation, it started feeling like “one of those games”.

Then Jota came on, sharp as ever, and his cool finish meant the blood pressure meds could be gingerly put aside, ready for the next outing.

With Mo Salah, who did plenty today, leaving after Newcastle for the ACoN, having the Portuguese international back is very welcome. But it isn’t just Jota. Darwin Nunez had a very good game, going well beyond his terrific early goal, the only one to get past a stupendous James Trafford. It’s the kind of game we know he can produce and we want to see from him more often. Harvey Elliott acquitted himself well again. In fact, in a first half that saw traffic going only one way, the frontline did everything well besides, well, scoring.

Then came the second half and boy, did it look different. Gravenberch looked even more lost than in the first half, slipping into net negative territory. Endo, who had an excellent first half, was tiring quickly, and a better team than Burnley would have capitalized. Liverpool’s back line was called into action time and again, which allowed us to be impressed yet again by the remarkable maturity of youngster Jarell Quansah. The kid ain’t kidding about wanting to take Matip’s place. He backed himself in difficult positions so many times I lost count. When Virgil does it, it looks effortless, and while Quansah isn’t quite at that level (yet!), he still pulls it off over and over again.


What a homegrown talent we have in him.

Speaking of homegrown talent, one who is undeniably genre-bending world-class already is my man-of-the-match today. Trent Alexander-Arnold was on point, doing well on both sides of the pitch and everywhere in between. He even got THIS close to scoring a sumptuous volley. In a way, he can’t surprise me anymore, and yet he still does. Today he relieved the pressure off his teammates so many times, playing a sort of “half six” role that led to many counters. If only the Reds were clinical, it could have ended up with five or six, many of those chances coming off a clever Trent recovery.

In a season where things seem to finally turn back into a semblance of normalcy, without massive point gaps to the top, winning against the minnows is even more important. Burnley will start taking points at Turf Moor – not normally an easy ground for away sides. Kompany is clearly getting them to believe in themselves. So I’ll be happy that it didn’t come at our expense. And I’ll celebrate being top of the league again, at least until the Hammers visit the Emirates on Thursday.

And who knows? Maybe we’ll stay there after that, too.

Ugly Crying and Tissues American Scouser Podcast

We think there was a game this weekend as well but the main topic of course is Klopp's farewell
  1. Ugly Crying and Tissues
  2. Two Week Notice
  3. Having Fun Again
  4. The Turkish Rodeo
  5. Glimpse of Hope