Player Ratings: Liverpool vs Burnley (What is actually going on?)

Liverpool's dismal start to the new year continues with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Sean Dyche's resilient Burnley team. The disappointing loss followed a similar theme since the start of the Reds' winless run — plenty of possession but nothing to show for at the end of the day.


It is now 440 minutes since Sadio Mane found the back of the net against West Brom, but perhaps what is more worrying is that Jurgen Klopp's side hardly looked like they were truly capable of breaking the duck against the Clarets, despite boasting 72% of the possession.


Mo Salah with his head in his hands after missing another chance
Image Source: Liverpool FC

To make matters worse, the air of invincibility around Anfield seems to have evaporated as Ashley Barnes tucked away his 83rd-minute penalty, ending their 68-game unbeaten home run in the Premier League.


It was yet another dreadful performance and Klopp will be desperate to put a halt to Liverpool's wretched run, pulling the brakes before Liverpool's spiral down the league table goes out of hand.



Alisson Becker: 6/10


Alisson with his head in his hands after giving away a penalty against Burnley
Image Source: BBC

We are not convinced it was a penalty, but having been on the end of some truly mindboggling refereeing decisions throughout the campaign, we cannot be sure anymore.


Alisson made an incredible save (although Barnes was flagged for offside) and looked comfortable all evening, but was eventually culpable as he gave away the foul that led to the penalty.


Trent Alexander-Arnold: 4/10


It is clear as day that he needs a break, and it is becoming increasingly painful to watch as Alexander-Arnold labours through the matches. The 23-year-old is desperately struggling for form and cannot seem to hit a five-yard pass, let alone swinging in his trademark crosses which we all grew accustomed to.


Another terrible day in the office as all of his crosses somehow failed to find anyone in red and was also twisted inside-out by Dwight McNeil; Klopp has to surely look at Neco Williams as an option for the next match now.


Joel Matip: 7/10


Joel Matip challenging for a header
Image Source: Liverpool FC

The Cameroon defender came back from injury and provided the expertise and experience that the Reds sorely missed. Dealt extremely well with the battering Barnes and Chris Wood, which is never an easy task for defenders. Matip needs to remain fit if Liverpool were to recover from this woeful form.



Fabinho: 7/10


The most consistent player for the Reds this campaign; Fabinho hardly put a foot wrong as he found himself alongside another defensive partner. Playing out of position is hard enough, but the Brazilian has dealt superbly with all the circumstances and remains the only reason Liverpool is still not shopping this transfer market.


Andy Robertson: 5/10


Looked a little out of sorts going forward, the Scotland international was far from his influential best this evening. Robertson was equally culpable of chalking up the number of wayward crosses that Burnley defenders dealt with comfortably all evening, and his usual link-up with Sadio Mane was missing too.


Thiago Alcantara: 6/10


Sat in front of the back four throughout the game, you begin to wonder if a player of his talent would be more effective slightly further up the pitch. Fabinho and Jordan Henderson's absence in midfield means that Thiago is somewhat leashed, as he tries to provide the defensive shield and dictate play from deep.


Fans will be desperate to see how Klopp can bring the best out of the Spaniard.


Gini Wijnaldum: 6/10


Wijnaldum taking a shot against Burnley
Image Source: Daily Express

Imposed himself well in a match that was always going to be combative, the Dutch midfielder made a superb lung-bursting run that almost saw Mo Salah broke the deadlock. Constantly got involved in the game as he tried to gain a foothold of the midfield battle, but his influence eventually fizzled out as the game went on.


He was made captain despite the ongoing contract talks; Wijnaldum remains a key figure for Liverpool and will be keen to tie him down.


Xherdan Shaqiri: 6/10


There were moments that showed both signs of his technical brilliance and sloppiness at the same time, as Shaqiri started his second game in a row for the Reds.


The stocky Swiss midfielder always looked likely to provide the creative spark, but ultimately failed to conjure up anything worthy of note. He needs to protect the ball better on occasions, especially when he is deployed in the midfield three.



Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain: 5/10


The midfielder has to quickly rediscover his first season form at Liverpool if he were to be a part of the Reds' future plans. The Ox has not been anywhere near his best since suffering from the spate of injuries, and time is quickly running out for the 28-year-old who was once one of the most promising young players in England.


Sadio Mane: 6/10


Sadio Mane dribbling against Burnley
Image Source: The Liverpool Offside

Anonymous for large parts of the game especially in the second half, this game was crying out for a moment of magic from the likes of Mane. Provided the intensity and directness that Klopp would have demanded from the players, but once again lacked the quality that has been sorely missing for weeks.


Divock Origi: 5/10


The big Belgian was handed a rare start and he actually played well, forcing Nick Pope into a couple of fine saves. Origi showed great touches and linked the play smartly too, but his horrible miss after being put clean through on goal will now — unfortunately — be mentioned each time his name is brought up.



Substitutions


Mohamed Salah: 5/10


Mo Salah dribbling against Pieters
Image Source: Kompas Bola

Tried to catch Pope on his near post after being splendidly set up by Wijnaldum, but was denied by an outstanding save. Got involved in many passages of attacking play, but were eventually denied by the wall of Burnley defenders.


Roberto Firmino: 5/10


Had a flick that was cleared off the line. Firmino huffed and puffed after he was brought on, but did not manage to exert his influence on the game as Klopp would have hoped for.


Takumi Minamino: N/A

 

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