James Milner, Naby Keita 8/10 as Liverpool battle back for crucial win at Burnley
BURNLEY, England -- Liverpool produced a come-from-behind 3-1 win against Burnley on Wednesday night to ensure the gap between themselves and Manchester City remains at two points.
Jurgen Klopp's side were heading for their first defeat of the season after Jack Cork's scrappy goal early in the second half. But James Milner equalised minutes later at Turf Moor and then substitute Roberto Firmino scored with his very first touch. Xherdan Shaqiri added the third in stoppage-time to hand Liverpool another important, hard-fought victory.
The three points collected here means this is Liverpool's best-ever start to a top-flight season. Naby Keita showed glimpses of being the player everybody though he would be when he arrived at Anfield.
The sight of Joe Gomez being stretchered off after 23 minutes will be hugely concerning to Liverpool as the 21-year-old has been terrific this season.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- The seven changes Klopp made raised eyebrows. It was the first time that Liverpool have started without Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah since May 2017. However, the Liverpool manager chose the right game to hand his starts a much-needed breather. Pick up the win and ask questions about the performance later. Job done.
Player ratings: (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Alisson, 6 -- The Brazilian thought he had the ball kicked out of his hands for Burnley's opening goal. However, he made a crucial save when it was 2-1, claimed the ball and then quickly threw it out as Liverpool went up the other end to score their third.
DF Joe Gomez, 7 -- Shifted out to right-back again, but started very well before being carried off following a Ben Mee's fair tackle. Liverpool will be sweating over this.
DF Joel Matip, 6 -- A fair few nervy moments but there are much worse fourth-choice centre-halves in the Premier League.
DF Virgil van Dijk, 7 -- Solid as ever. He made a brilliant, outstretched pullback for Firmino's goal. One thing that must be in the back of Klopp's mind is that Van Dijk has started all but one Liverpool game this season: a third-round League Cup tie. He will need a rest at some point.
DF Alberto Moreno, 6 -- He's never as bad some make out. However, you can see why Andrew Robertson has the left-back slot firmly secured.
MF Jordan Henderson, 6 -- Not an eye-catching display, although one very important to Liverpool's general play.
MF James Milner, 8 -- Took his goal brilliantly and stepped up when Liverpool needed someone to. This game must have given him flashes of his days as Liverpool's left-back, having been up and down the left flank.
MF Naby Keita, 8 -- A very impressive performance. Despite playing a holding role, he was the most likely starter to unpick Burnley's guard. Had a long-range shot tipped onto the post by Joe Hart early in the second half and then started the move for Milner's equaliser. He will hope he can build from this.
FW Xherdan Shaqiri, 6 -- Rather quiet playing as an unorthodox right midfielder. He missed linking up with the usual front three. That was telling as Salah provided the pass for his goal on the counter-attack.
FW Daniel Sturridge, 6 -- A few nice touches and passes but starved of clear-cut chances in front of goal.
FW Divock Origi, 5 -- First Premier League start in over 18 months although he couldn't carry the momentum of his heroics in the Merseyside derby. Hooked for Salah, but did set up Milner's goal before that.
DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 6 -- He did well when he came in for Gomez after 23 minutes and took the free-kick for the goal that put Liverpool ahead.
FW Mohamed Salah, 7 -- Such a threat on the counter-attack as the game got more and more stretched. Came on in the 65th minute and provided a nice assist for Shaqiri's goal.
FW Roberto Firmino, 7 -- An instant impact off the bench after 65 minutes. As easy as the goal was, it should give him a boost of confidence after a poor spell of form.