Liverpool hold nerve to beat Burnley as Jurgen Klopp warns Manchester City ‘nobody gets rid of us’

Roberto Firmino had a good day in front of goal as the Brazilian bagged a brace at Anfield. (AFP)
Updated 10 March 2019
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Liverpool hold nerve to beat Burnley as Jurgen Klopp warns Manchester City ‘nobody gets rid of us’

  • Reds beat visitors at Anfield to move to a point behind City in race for the title.
  • Goals from Firmino and Mane enough to see off challenge of Burnley.

LONDON: Liverpool have what it takes to beat both the pressure and Manchester City in the battle for the Premier League title.

That was the message from Reds boss Jurgen Klopp after he saw his side beat Burnley 4-2 at Anfield.

 After going behind in the sixth minute in the windy conditions, Liverpool stormed back though a brace from Roberto Firmino and a Sadio Mane double to maintain their title charge and move to just a point behind City, who beat Watford 3-1 on Saturday.

Having witnessed the Reds avoid a potential banana skin, Klopp warned their rivals it will take a lot to get in the way of his side and their title dream.

“Nobody gets rid of us,” the Liverpool boss said.

“You had to be on the pitch to realize how windy it was. You have to deal with it and we did that well, we played our own game.

“We scored really good goals, we forced it more. The three points is good, obviously, it is all good.

“We created chances. I am completely happy with the performance — you have to be ready for a fight with Burnley, and we fought and played well.”

Coming into the match all the pressure was on the Reds who, by their own admission have not been firing on all cylinders recently. Last week a lackluster 0-0 draw with Everton allowed City to top the table and coming into the match Klopp was complaining about the timing of the clash, just three days before Liverpool’s crucial Champions League meeting with Bayern Munich.

But despite the distractions and the windy conditions, the hosts looked more like their old attacking selves and deserved the three points, having gone 1-0 down after a controversial Burnley opener. Ashley Westwood scored direct from a corner, although it appeared Reds’ goalkeeper Alisson had been impeded by James Tarkowski.

“Are we allowed to talk about the conditions?” Klopp joked.

“We played our game. The first Burnley goal was maybe a little bit of the wind. In most countries it would not be allowed that goal — you cannot treat the goalie like that in the six-yard box.

“At 3-1 up, all the balls Burnley got were from us. I’m completely happy with the performance, especially as it was against a tough Burnley side.”

Liverpool’s tally of 73 points from their opening 30 league games this season is their joint-best total at this stage of a league campaign (adjusting for three points for a win), level with the 1904-05 second tier season and 1987-88 in the top flight.

 Beaten only once all season, it would be overstating the importance of the match to say that was a vital test of character, Liverpool have been in imperious form since the start of the season and a run of four draws in six matches does not change that. But with just eight matches of the season left any slip-up could prove significant.

In the day’s other matches Chelsea needed an injury-time equalizer to snatch a point at home to Wolverhampton. The visitors to Stamford Bridge went ahead thanks to a 54th-minute goal from Raul Jimenez. But Hazard, whose future with the Blues is still the subject of speculation, curled a shot into the bottom corner two minutes after the 90 minutes were up to spare Chelsea’s blushes.

In the late kick-off Arsenal beat Manchester United 2-0 to leapfrog over the Old Trafford club into fourth. Goals from Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were enough to give the Gunners all three points at a wet and windy Emirates Stadium.


Manchester City crush Watford 8-0

Updated 22 September 2019

Manchester City crush Watford 8-0

  • Tottenham rocked by Leicester

LONDON: Manchester City powered to their record Premier League win as the champions scored five times in the first half of an incredible 8-0 thrashing of Watford, while Leicester enjoyed a VAR-assisted 2-1 victory over Tottenham on Saturday.

Inspired by Bernardo Silva’s hat-trick, Pep Guardiola’s side ripped woeful Watford to pieces at the Etihad Stadium, eclipsing a 7-0 success against Norwich in 2013 which stood as their previous biggest top-flight win.

Although City fell one goal short of equalling the biggest Premier League margin of victory — Manchester United’s 9-0 demolition of Ipswich in 1995 — their swaggering display was the perfect way to erase the bitter taste from last weekend’s shock defeat at Norwich.

Second-placed City move to within two points of leaders Liverpool.

City had crushed Watford 6-0 in last season’s FA Cup final and, with injury-plagued left-back Benjamin Mendy making his first start since April, they picked up where they left off at Wembley with a goal inside the first minute at the Etihad Stadium.

Kevin De Bruyne played a superb ball in from the right, leaving David Silva with the simple task of poking home from close range for his first goal of the season.

The champions doubled their lead in the seventh minute after Watford keeper Ben Foster conceded a penalty with a foul on Riyad Mahrez.

Sergio Aguero coolly slotted in the spot-kick for his eighth goal in six games this term, taking the Argentina striker to 100 home Premier League goals for City.

Guardiola had rested Raheem Sterling, but even without their star winger City were rampant and they made it three in the 12th minute when Mahrez’s free-kick hit Watford’s Tom Cleverley in the head and deflected past Foster.

Astonishingly, City scored again in the 15th minute, De Bruyne’s corner nodded on by Nicolas Otamendi for Bernardo to head home. By the time Otamendi finished off Aguero’s cross in the 18th minute, City had established the fastest 5-0 lead in the Premier League era.

The joint biggest half-time lead in Premier League history wasn’t enough for City and Bernardo struck again with a close-range finish after another flowing move in the 48th minute. Bernardo completed his first Premier League treble on the hour with a tap-in from De Bruyne’s cross.

De Bruyne set City’s new record mark in the Premier League when the Belgium midfielder scored the eighth in the 85th minute.

At the King Power Stadium, Leicester proved their credentials to gatecrash the top four as they came from behind to beat Tottenham.

The game swung Leicester’s way after Tottenham defender Serge Aurier’s goal midway through the second half was ruled out by the finest of margins for offside by VAR.

The hosts built on that lift immediately as Ricardo Pereira equalized before James Maddison struck the winner from long range five minutes from time.

“We’re six games in, we are not getting carried away,” said Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers. “We had a tough start but I’m so pleased with the players’ focus.”

By contrast, Tottenham have now won just two of their first seven games of the season in all competitions and Mauricio Pochettino admitted the VAR controversy had played a role in their latest flop.

Pochettino bemoaned the momentum swing given to Leicester by the long stoppage in play prior to Aurier’s strike being ruled out for an extremely marginal offside against Son Heung-min.

“The emotion of the game changed. The belief it gave to Leicester made things happen differently in the last 10 minutes,” Pochettino said.

“I’m only going to say that we all accept that system in the game and now I am not going to complain.”

Burnley beat Norwich 2-0 at Turf Moor, with New Zealand striker Chris Wood scoring in the 10th and 14th minutes.

Sheffield United piled pressure on Everton manager Marco Silva, whose side were booed off after a 2-0 defeat at Goodison Park, the damage done by Yerry Mina’s 40th-minute own goal and Lys Mousset’s 79th-minute strike.