In a game where offside decisions rule out goals, Liverpool still reign supreme!
As a new season entered the red walls of Anfield, more than 50,000 Kopites made the Mecca of Reds football their own after 528 days of gloom to witness Liverpool record their second successive hurrah.
The team at the receiving end was a spirited Burnley who more than put up a fight to give The Merseyside Maulers a run for their money in a score line which finally skewed towards The Reds by a margin of two goals.
Make no mistake, such was the determination, The Clarets demonstrated when they almost had one back had the referee not adjudged Ashley Barnes offside in the beginning of the second half.
Speaking about offside decisions, Liverpool themselves were at the receiving end of one when Salah thought he had got Liverpool a second in the first-half albeit VAR ruled otherwise.
Surely a game that would have seen a score line of 3-1 in Liverpool’s favour had offside decisions not ruled out two goals. Well such is football and rules are rules!
On a brighter side this was the seventh consecutive victory for Liverpool in the Premier League including the last season. To put things into perspective before these seven successive wins, in their 20 previous games, The Reds only managed to win 7, draw 5 and lose 8.
These seven successive hurrahs also served as their longest winning run since February 2020, when they won 18 in a row.
Certainly, The Reds are on the rise. Again!
So, without further ado lets dissect this intriguing fixture that saw Liverpool come on top though not as convincingly as their first outing:
Diogo Jota shows his value on a second successive occasion
Burnley started the contest as the more assertive of the two teams with almost going into the lead in the 4th minute courtesy McNeil whose effort was barely kept out by Trent Alexander Arnold on the goal line as keeper Alisson had already committed himself to keep striker Wood at bay.
Post the move, the referee raised the flag to adjudge Wood offside, the first in the game that would see two more goals denied courtesy the flag.
Liverpool were lucky to survive the initial scare!
As they say it’s the survival of the fittest and The Reds more than showed why with a fitting header by Diogo Jota that put the home side in front in the 18th minute after the Portuguese did well to latch on to a Tsimikas cross much to the delight of a lively Kop and an energetic Anfield.
Minutes later Burnley managed another strike on goal only to be denied by Alisson. The Clarets were certainly up for the contest despite Liverpool drawing first blood.
Well, the home team in a matter of moments had a second albeit this would be the first goal to be denied by the flag. The perpetrator was Mohamed Salah by just barely having a foot over the line after he was brilliantly served by young Reds midfielder, Harvey Elliot.
With no further drama the first half came to a finish as the score read Liverpool 1 – 0 Burnley.
Sadio Mane comes to the party
The second half much like the first saw Burnley assert their dominance as Ashley Barnes scored in the first minute to put the visitors’ level or at least he thought he did before the flag went up again. The second insistence where the flag was raised and the goal was denied.
The Clarets surely felt unlucky and Liverpool relieved!
A second was the need of the hour for the home team to put the game beyond the visitors as the eleven players in Red and the 50,000 + supporters all but seemed to tilt towards a certain sense of edginess.
The person to calm the nerves had to be one from Liverpool’s Big 3 and thankfully this time it was the Senegalese superstar, Sadio Mane who got his first of the season to join his compatriots Salah and Firmino on the goal scoring list.
The Senegalese after being kept out by the Pope of Burnley on two previous attempts finally beat the keeper with a hammer of a shot as he capitalized on an opportunity created through a brilliant interplay between Elliot and Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool had sealed the deal with this strike.
The final score read Liverpool 2 – 0 Burnley as the home team recorded a perfect 6 points from their first two outings much to the delight of an ecstatic Anfield.
An enthralling contest with Chelsea awaits
While wins over Norwich City and Burnley are as important as they come to open the season on a high, truth be told the game of gigantic proportions which surely will test the metal of the team in red is the one next.
Chelsea, the champions of Europe under Thomas Tuchel seem a much-rejuvenated side and will be more than eager to bring the mother of all fights to Anfield.
Having said this, make no mistake, Liverpool will be ready as The Blues will not only face the eleven men on the field but also the 50,000 strong army cheering from the stands. And yes the millions supporting from all corners of the globe too.
A clash of two German geniuses in the offering. I surely hope the one with The Reds prevails!
‘Unity is strength – Let’s Go Reds – You’ll Never Walk Alone!’