Liverpool battle past Burnley to keep title dreams alive

Liverpool earned a hard-fought 1-0 win against Burnley at Turf Moor on Sunday to keep their title hopes alive.

Fabinho scored the winning goal in the latter stages of the first half as Liverpool cut Manchester City‘s lead at the top to nine points with a game in hand.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were also able to recall Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the starting lineup for the first time since January following the Africa Cup of Nations.

The result sees Liverpool continue their unbeaten run in all competitions where they haven’t lost since Dec. 28 at Leicester City.

“It is always hard to play here,” Fabinho said. “Burnley is a tough place to come. Sometimes we forget to play football a little bit because we want to fight for the second balls but when we had the ball on the ground we created chances.

“We didn’t score the second goal but defensively the team was very good today. A nice three points.”

The first effort at goal was from Burnley after Josh Brownhill‘s fierce strike was tipped wide by goalkeeper Alisson at full stretch.

It took Liverpool until the 21st minute to test goalkeeper Nick Pope, with Naby Keita denied low to the keeper’s right before, down the other end, Burnley’s January signing Wout Weghorst should have done better when through on goal.

The home side remained on top and soon forced Alisson into another save, the Brazilian smothering at the feet of Jay Rodriguez.

The chances were coming thick and fast, with Mane then immediately firing straight at Pope from a free kick, before Weghorst should have hit the target from a good position for Burnley.

Burnley were left to rue their profligacy when Mane flicked on Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s corner to Fabinho, who squeezed the ball over the line at the second attempt — the Brazilian’s fifth goal in all competitions since the turn of the year.

It was a matter of just holding on for Klopp’s side given the conditions and determination of Burnley after the break.

Alisson made more saves in a single league match than he had all season, much to the frustration of a soaked Turf Moor crowd.

Substitute Diogo Jota should have added a late second but fired wide with goal at his mercy. It mattered little, as Liverpool celebrated a hard-earned win at full time.

I am delighted with the way we played in the circumstances,” Klopp said. “You can only feel the wind like that if you were on the pitch. It came from all directions.

“We always deal with the circumstances. We defended many situations really well — I am really happy.”

Information from Reuters was included in this report.

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