Burnley 0-1 Liverpool: player ratings, heroes and villains as Fabinho strikes winner

The Reds closed the gap at the top of the Premier League thanks to Fabinho’s first half goal.

Liverpool closed the gap between themselves and Premier League leaders Manchester City to nine points after they edged past Burnley 1-0 at Turf Moor thanks to Fabinho’s first half goal.

The Brazilian notched the winner in the 40th minute after initially being denied by Nick Pope from close range.

But Burnley had chances of their own through Jay Rodriguez and Wout Weghorst - the Dutch forward should have scored on numerous occasions.

Jurgen Klopp’s side showed their class when they opened the scoring in the final five minutes of the first half through Fabinho’s second goal in three games.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s corner was flicked on by Sadio Mane, his first game back after his AFCON triumph, and the Brazilian slotted the ball home after his initial effort was saved by Nick Pope.

The Reds struggled to break a resolute Burnley defence in the second half, with Roberto Firmino heading over from close range with the best chance.

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The victory keeps Klopp’s side within distance of Pep Guardiola’s City, with a game in hand and a trip to Etihad Stadium in April.

The heroes

Fabinho: The Brazilian was everywhere at Turf Moor. He scored his second goal in three games and fulfilled his defensive responsibilities perfectly. Fabinho is arguably the biggest part of the Reds midfield trio. Man of the match.

Alisson: The goalkeeper was kept very busy in the opening 45 minutes, with saves from Josh Brownhill and Weghorst. In the second half, he was more of a spectator as he recorder a 13th clean sheet.

Ben Mee: The Burnley defender was brilliant against the Liverpool front three. He and James Tarkowski defended well and limited the Reds to few chances from open-play. With Mane and Salah relatively quiet on the day, Mee was commanding and smart in his play and often sprung attacks himself with long balls over the Liverpool defence. If Burnley go down, there must be a long list of Premier League teams waiting to sign him.

Fabinho was the most impressive player on Liverpool’s team at Turf Moor, scoring the games winner.

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The villains

Sadio Mane: His first game back after lifting the African Cup of Nations for Senegal. He lacked the same energy but was close to scoring in the first half. It’s fair to say it wasn’t his best performance for the club, but you can understand that after a week of celebrations.

Wout Weghorst: The striker squandered a number of chances in the first half and his confidence wouldn’t have improved from the game. The opportunities came his way in the first half but he never really looked composed enough to finish. Once that first goal for the clubs comes, he’s bound to start hitting the net on a regular occasion, but for now, he remains without a goal.

Jay Rodriguez: Like Weghorst, Rodriguez was the victim of missed chances that cost his side. In the first half, the English forward had a clear-cut opportunity to score in the first half when he received the ball in the Liverpool area but failed to finish past Alisson. If Burnley are to survive the drop, they must get their strikers scoring.

Weut Weghorst missed a host of chances for Burnley and remains without a goal for his new side.

Player ratings

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Burnley: Pope 7; Roberts 5, Tarkowski 5, Mee 6, Pieters 4; Lennon 5, Brownhill 6, Westwood 6, Cornet 5; Rodriguez 6 (McNeil 62; 5), Weghorst 5 (Barnes 75; 5 )

Liverpool: Alisson 6; Alexander-Arnold 6, Matip 7, Van Dijk 6, Robertson 6; Fabinho 7, Henderson 7 (Thiago 59; 6) Keita 6 (Milner 90); Mane 6 (Jota 67; 5 ), Salah 7, Firmino 6

What’s Liverpool’s next fixture?

Liverpool return to Champions League action this week when they travel to Serie A champions Inter on Wednesday night (8pm).