Goals from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane earned Liverpool a comfortable 2-0 win over Burnley, on a day where supporters were welcomed back to Anfield for the first time since March 2020.
While the two forwards secured the three points for Liverpool with their goals in the first and second half, it’s the impressive showings at full-back and in midfield that may impress Jurgen Klopp most; Kostas Tsimikas and Harvey Elliott. on his first Premier League start, shining in particular.
For the visitors, it was an afternoon of frustration as chances came and went for Sean Dyche’s side. Creating opportunities wasn’t an issue for the Clarets, but a lack of composure in front of goal and several good saves from Alisson preserved Liverpool’s clean sheet.
Nick Pope was equally impressive at the other end, making smart saves late on to deny Trent Alexander-Arnold and Mohammad Salah, but there was nothing he could do to prevent Jota’s opener – a smart header from Tsimikas’ cross – nor Mane’s clinical second.
Here’s how Liverpool‘s players rated on a comfortable afternoon…
Alisson Becker (GK) – 7/10 – Even though the Brazilian shot-stopper left today with a clean sheet and a tally of some impressive saves, a mistake in the first few minutes nearly gifted Burnley the opener.
Trent Alexander-Arnold (RB) – 8/10 – Back to his electrifying best, charging up and down the wing with intent. His delivery was quality, too, while his flicked assist for Mane’s goal was superb.
Joel Matip (CB) – 6/10 – A clean sheet may have been chalked up, but Matip will be the first to acknowledge that Liverpool’s defence wasn’t as organised as it needed to be. Too many chances were afforded to Burnley.
Virgil van Dijk (CB) – 7/10 – The more dominant of the central defenders, as you might expect, Van Dijk wasn’t at his brilliant best but did enough to keep Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood at bay. Made a couple of crucial blocks.
Kostas Tsimikas (LB) – 8/10 – On only his second Premier League start, Tsimikas bagged an assist – whipping in a delightful cross for Jota to glance home. A stellar showing from the Greek.
Jordan Henderson (CM) – 7/10 – Liverpool’s captain started at Anfield for the first time since losing against Everton in the spring. Produced a solid performance and showed no signs of rust.
Harvey Elliott (CM) – 7/10 – The teenager started today for the first time in the Premier League and captured the attention with a lively display. Won two free-kicks within the opening 10 minutes, and would have had an assist to his name were it not for the linesman’s flag.
Naby Keita (CM) – 7/10 – The holding midfielder hounded Burnley in the centre of the park and was instrumental in breaking up play and restarting attacks.
Mohamed Salah (RW) – 8/10 – Salah was unlucky to have a goal ruled out for offside, but was a constant threat throughout. Cutting inside seems so obvious but stopping him is an entirely different story.
Diogo Jota (ST) – 8/10 – The Portuguese striker bagged his second goal of the season with a fine header midway through the first half. Faded again, like he did on the opening day, but another positive display.
Sadio Mane (LW) – 8/10 – Mane sealed the three points for Liverpool with an excellent finish midway through the second half. Had a number of efforts at goal and looked more like his old self.
Thiago Alcantara (CM) – 7/10 – Passed the ball impeccably after coming on, but was only afforded ten minutes of action.
Roberto Firmino – (ST) – 6/10 – Not enough time to make a telling impact but did have a left footed effort saved by Pope.
Joe Gomez (CB) – N/A