Burnley 0-2 Liverpool: Player ratings as Nunez ends goal drought in hard-fought victory

Liverpool moved top of the Premier League with a tricky 2-0 victory over Burnley on Tuesday evening.

Darwin Nunez struck from range in an overwhelmingly dominant first half which also saw a Cody Gakpo goal ruled out for a foul. Harvey Elliott later saw an effort chalked off for offside after the break.

Burnley threatened to get back into the game in the second half but Diogo Jota’s 50th Liverpool goal late on ultimately put the hosts to bed.

How the game unfolded

Burnley made a red-hot start but the first real opportunity of the game fell to Liverpool. Harvey Elliott’s strike from range forced James Trafford into a smart save inside four minutes, before Mohamed Salah was caught offside from the rebound.

Liverpool wouldn’t have to wait long for their opener. With six minutes on the clock, Nunez pulled the trigger from outside the box and carefully guided the ball into Trafford’s bottom corner.

The Burnley stopper pulled out an excellent save to deny an immediate second from Salah, but Liverpool kept coming and spurned a handful of chances to double their advantage inside the opening stages as Burnley’s ambitious style of play proved to be the home side’s downfall.

Gakpo fired home in the 28th minute but his celebrations were quickly halted when the referee saw Nunez fouling Charlie Taylor in the build-up – a decision which VAR eventually approved.

Two further errors from Burnley allowed Salah to crash against the crossbar shortly after the half-hour mark and there was plenty more work for Trafford before the break – Liverpool’s eight shots on target was the most they have registered in a first half this season – but somehow, the score remained 1-0.

Liverpool had the ball in the back of the Burnley net nine minutes after the restart after Elliott tapped home from a Ryan Gravenberch cross, but an offside Salah was deemed to be obstructing Trafford’s line of sight and the goal was again ruled out.

The disallowed goal appeared to inject Burnley with some energy. Johann Berg Gudmundsson headed over the bar at the back post as the hosts threatened to give neutrals a good time heading into the closing stages.

Trent Alexander-Arnold fizzed wide from range and Jacob Bruun Larsen did the same at the other end, but the pressure was finally lifted when substitute Jota fired home from a narrow angle in stoppage time to seal all three points.

James Trafford, Cody GakpoJames Trafford, Cody Gakpo

Trafford was excellent / Jan Kruger/GettyImages

GK: James Trafford – 8/10 – Stopped this match from being utterly embarrassing for Burnley. Made eight saves across the whole game and seven of them came in the first half.

RB: Vitinho – 4/10 – Some abysmal crossing when Burnley needed some quality to get back into the game.

CB: Dara O’Shea – 4/10 – Seemed panicked as Liverpool’s relentless pressure took its toll. Solid in the air but couldn’t keep up on the ground.

CB: Jordan Beyer – 5/10 – Guilty of some really poor moments in possession but made a superb challenge to deny Salah as he looked to be getting one-on-one with Trafford.

LB: Charlie Taylor – 4/10 – Didn’t deal well with Salah and was very fortunate the referee called for a foul during Gakpo’s disallowed goal.

RM: Mike Tresor – 5/10 – Can’t fault the effort but Tresor’s end product was lacking. Some bright moments when he got running.

CM: Sander Berge – 5/10 – Didn’t offer nearly enough support for his defence. Struggled in his battle with Endo.

CM: Josh Brownhill – 5/10 – Made plenty of fouls as he struggled to match the pace of the game.

LM: Wilson Odobert – 6/10 – Odobert looked dangerous at times but simply had no idea what to do in the final third.

ST: Zeki Amdouni – 5/10 – An outrageous moment of skill early on which he followed up with an awful shot on goal. Needed more composure.

ST: Lyle Foster – 5/10 – Limited support meant Foster was always likely to struggle but the striker didn’t exactly help himself either.


SUB: Johann Berg Gudmundsson (61′ for Tresor) – 6/10

SUB: Nathan Redmond (85′ for Foster) – N/A

SUB: Jacob Bruun Larsen (85′ for Amdouni) – N/A

SUB: Aaron Ramsey (90′ for Brownhill) – N/A

Subs not used: Arijanet Muric (GK), Hannes Delcroix, Connor Roberts, Josh Cullen, Jay Rodriguez


Vincent Kompany – 4/10 – Pretty naive to take this approach against a side as good as Liverpool. Watched his side get mauled trying to play out from the back early on but remained determined to stick to his guns.

Mohamed Salah, Charlie TaylorMohamed Salah, Charlie Taylor

Salah was a constant threat / Lewis Storey/GettyImages

GK: Alisson – 6/10 – You’d be forgiven for forgetting Alisson was playing.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold – 7/10 – Some smart defensive moments but was mainly involved going forwards. Played some nice passes to try and exploit Burnley’s high line.

CB: Jarell Quansah – 7/10 – A solid centre-back performance. Enjoyed his battle with Burnley’s forwards.

CB: Virgil van Dijk – 8/10 – Some delightful balls over the top to try and make things happen. Had to lead by example in the second half when Burnley started threatening.

LB: Joe Gomez – 7/10 – Gomez is clearly on a quest to score his first senior goal. Pretty active going forwards but had to battle his own attacking shortcomings in the final third.

DM: Wataru Endo – 7/10 – Hardly tested but snuffed out any pressure whenever it came his way. Another really composed performance.

CM: Ryan Gravenberch – 6/10 – Fine. Just fine. Gravenberch was a little sloppy in possession but got away with it because of the level of competition against him.

CM: Harvey Elliott – 7/10 – A classy showing from Elliott, who will have ramped up the pressure on Dominik Szoboszlai in the battle for this midfield spot.

RW: Mohamed Salah – 7/10 – Pressed well and was a constant menace in the final third. Just couldn’t find the luck he needed to make it count.

ST: Darwin Nunez – 8/10 – Finally ended his dry spell with a delightful strike from outside the box.

LW: Cody Gakpo – 8/10 – Really enjoyed being back out on the left wing. Charged at Vitinho at every given moment and was unfortunate not to get his name on the scoresheet as well.


SUB: Curtis Jones (67′ for Gravenberch) – 5/10

SUB: Dominik Szoboszlai (67′ for Elliott) – 5/10

SUB: Luis Diaz (67′ for Gakpo) – 5/10

SUB: Diogo Jota (84′ for Nunez) – 7/10

Subs not used: Caoimhin Kelleher (GK), Luke Chambers, Ibrahima Konate, Conor Bradley, James McConnell


Jurgen Klopp – 6/10 – Klopp set his side up perfectly to exploit Burnley’s weaknesses in the first half and was unfortunate not to take a huge lead at the break. Burnley grew into the game in the second half and Klopp’s substitutes did not help things.

Player of the match: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.