Burnley 1-2 Liverpool: Ragnar Klavan scores late winner for Reds
By James Walker-Roberts
Last Updated: 02/01/18 6:40am
Ragnar Klavan scored an injury-time winner to earn Liverpool a hard-fought 2-1 victory against Burnley on New Year's Day.
With Mohamed Salah and Phillipe Coutinho both not in the Liverpool squad, it was Sadio Mane who broke the deadlock for the visitors in the 61st minute at Turf Moor with a fine strike.
Johann Gudmundsson looked to have grabbed a point for Burnley when he replied in the 88th minute, but Klavan headed in the decisive goal deep into injury-time.
Burnley: Pope (6), Bardsley (6), Tarkowski (6), Mee (7), Taylor (6), Gudmundsson (7), Defour (6), Cork (6), Arfield (6), Hendrick (6), Barnes (6)
Subs: Vokes (6), Wells (5)
Liverpool: Mignolet (6), Alexander-Arnold (6), Lovren (7), Klavan (7), Gomez (6), Oxlade-Chamberlain (6), Can (6), Wijnaldum (6), Mane (7), Solanke (6), Lallana (7)
Subs: Milner (5), Firmino (5), Matip (5)
Man of the match: Dejan Lovren
The win stretches Liverpool's unbeaten run in all competitions to 16 matches, while Burnley have now not won in five games in the Premier League.
With the rain teeming down, chances were few and far between in the first half. Burnley's Ashley Barnes fired wide in the eighth minute from inside the box, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain went closest for Liverpool when he saw a shot pushed away by Clarets 'keeper Nick Pope.
Having not had much of the ball in the opening 25 minutes, the home side grew into the half and Scott Arfield shot just past the post in the 38th minute.
Both sides continued to struggle to create clear chances in the second half, but Mane put Liverpool ahead in the 61st minute with a brilliant goal, controlling well and drilling a shot past Pope from just inside the box.
Pope then saved well from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Oxlade-Chamberlain while Barnes volleyed narrowly wide at the other end.
Tarkowski replaced Long for Burnley, while Liverpool made seven changes. Van Dijk was not available despite completing his transfer from Southampton on the day, and Salah and Coutinho missed out with injury. Mignolet returned in goal in place of Karius and Lallana made his first start of the season.
Burnley threw on Sam Vokes and Nahki Wells in a bid to snatch an equaliser and it was the former who flicked on a cross for Gudmundsson to finish at the back post with a stooping header.
That looked as though it would be enough to ensure a draw, until Dejan Lovren headed a free-kick goalwards in the 94th minute and Klavan headed in almost on the line.
- Liverpool have now gone 16 games unbeaten in all competitions (W11 D5), their outright longest run under manager Jurgen Klopp.
- Burnley have conceded more goals in their last two fixtures at Turf Moor in the Premier League (five) than they did in in their first nine of the season (three).
- Johan Berg Gudmundsson has been directly involved in six Premier League goals this season, at least two more than any other player for Burnley.
- Sadio Mane has had a hand in five goals in his last four Premier League games away from Anfield (two goals, three assists), as many as his previous 15 combined.
- Ragnar Klavan scored his first Premier League goal for Liverpool in his 34th appearance in the competition; it was the first goal by an Estonian in Premier league history.
Sean Dyche: "I thought we had done enough to earn another point. We're so frustrated with a soft goal right at the end but impressed with the mentality: superb physically, tactically very good - particularly defensively - and there is so much to be pleased with. But we're left with that horrible feeling."
Jurgen Klopp on Sadio Mane: "He came into the dressing room and the whole team got up and gave him a hand, because they know. He will be back on top. He has made steps. We need him, we need him so much for all the things that are coming. I am happy because I had a lot of players with moments where it wasn't clicking and they never scored. Sadio still scores, and that's really cool!"
Man of the match - Dejan Lovren
On the day that Liverpool sealed the £75m signing of Virgil van Dijk, it was perhaps fitting that it was their oft-maligned centre-backs who combined to score the winner.
While Klavan got the final touch, it was laid on a plate for him by Lovren, who rose well to flick on a free-kick. Lovren was also solid in defence for Liverpool, winning 15 aerial duels - six more than any of his team-mates - and making 10 clearances.