Liverpool ratings: Van Dijk, Nunez impress in win at Burnley

Liverpool went to the top of the Premier League table on Boxing Day as they secured a 2-0 victory against Burnley at Turf Moor.

The visitors got themselves into an early lead when Cody Gakpo found Darwin Núñez at the edge of the box, and the Uruguay international guided a precise finish beyond James Trafford for his first goal in 13 matches. Gakpo had the ball in the net later on in the first half, but his effort was disallowed after Nunez was judged to have fouled Burnley defender Charlie Taylor. Mohamed Salah came closest to doubling the lead next, though his strike from Gakpo’s pass was denied by the crossbar.

– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Liverpool thought they had scored again in the second half when Ryan Gravenberch’s pass was placed into the corner by Harvey Elliott, but VAR ruled that Salah’s offside position was interfering with play.

Burnley were buoyed with the game still in the balance at 1-0 down, but after Joey Gudmundsson and then Jacob Bruun Larsen fired off target, Liverpool substitute Diogo Jota produced an exquisite finish from a narrow angle to wrap up all three points for Klopp’s side.

Positives

Liverpool created multiple chances and took hold of the game early on, creating more than enough chances to put the game awayt. Diogo Jota also made his return to action and proved to be decisive, with an excellent finish past Burnley’s best performer on the night, Trafford.

Negatives

The Reds could have been more clinical with the chances they created, and they also allowed Burnley back into the game after the hour mark.

Manager rating

Jurgen Klopp, 7 — Showed strong squad management by starting Jarell Quansah in this one, while his midfield selection also worked with bright performances from both Harvey Elliott and Ryan Gravenberch. That will be important going forward amid the busy festive schedule. He will also be pleased to see substitute Diogo Jota score on his return to action.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best, players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Alisson, 6 — Two late scares saw Burnley close with two efforts that went off target, with the Brazil international goalkeeper enjoying a game in which the opponents didn’t register a single shot on target.

DF Trent Alexander-Arnold, 7 — Started wider in the first half and created space for Liverpool’s midfield, also putting a number of dangerous balls into the box.

DF Jarell Quansah, 7 — A strong intervention stopped a potentially menacing cross from Zeki Amdouni, who had gotten into a dangerous area after beating Curtis Jones. Called upon again in the 80th minute and made no mistake with his challenge.

DF Virgil van Dijk, 8 — The Liverpool captain cut a composed figure at the back, and impressed with his passing ability, which was a constant threat for Burnley’s defensive line. The Dutch international marshalled his defence well during the Clarets’ best spell, always quick to anticipate danger.

DF Joe Gomez, 7 — Patient in his defending and got the best of his duels with Burnley’s attackers. Provided an option down the left-flank and chose the right moments to go forwards.

MF Harvey Elliott, 7 — Encouragingly, he always looked to play the ball progressively when in possession, and after trying his luck from outside of the box early on, he played in Mohamed Salah from a similar position later in the first half. His goal was ruled out by VAR who ruled that Salah’s offside position interfered with play.

MF Wataru Endo, 7 — Another bright performance from Endo, in which he was always in the right position to recover the ball and showed impressive decision-making in more advanced areas. Also, that was the fifth game in 13 days that the Japan international has started for Liverpool, making him the only player in Jurgen Klopp’s squad to do so.

MF Ryan Gravenberch, 7 — The Dutch star impressed when driving forward with the ball, and he should have done better with his effort in the 7th minute that he failed to properly connect with. The Liverpool midfielder took care of the ball, but left the pitch without an assist after Harvey Elliott’s goal was ruled out.

FW Mohamed Salah, 7 — The superstar was difficult to pick up by the home side, and he somehow ended the first half without a goal despite drawing a strong save from the goalkeeper before hitting the bar. A constant option in forward areas, he almost picked out Luis Díaz in the second half at the back post.

FW Cody Gakpo, 7 — The Netherlands international started from the left-flank and linked well with Darwin Nunez across the match, including for the Uruguay international’s opener in the 6th minute. Almost secured his second assist with a direct pass to Mohamed Salah that was struck onto the bar.

FW Darwin Nunez, 7 — A precise finish from the edge left goalkeeper Trafford with no chance and capped a lively display that saw his goal drought deservedly come to an end.

Substitutes (players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

MF Curtis Jones (for Gravenberch, 66″), 6 — Beaten too easily by Zeki Amdouni when coming on, but did help Liverpool restore control in the match.

FW Luis Diaz (for Gakpo, 67″), 7 — The Colombia international was denied by Trafford with a chance that would have put the game out of sight in the final minutes, though he did provide the assist Diogo Jota for Liverpool’s second.

MF Dominik Szoboszlai (for Elliott, 67″), 6 — Szoboszlai almost scored moments after being introduced, but his contact diverted the ball away from the goal. Blasted his next effort from range high and wide of the goal.

FW Diogo Jota (for Nunez, 84″), N/R — A positive moment for Liverpool as they welcomed back Diogo Jota from his recent injury, and it didn’t take long for him to get on the scoresheet as he registered his 50th goal for the club when making it 2-0.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *