Jürgen Klopp was pleased with certain aspects of Liverpool's performance in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Burnley but rued missed opportunities throughout.
The Reds dropped points at Anfield for the first time in 2019-20 in what was their penultimate home game of the campaign as they were held by the Clarets.
Andy Robertson’s fine header had put the champions in front just after the half-hour mark and only a string of outstanding saves from visiting ‘keeper Nick Pope prevented them from enhancing their advantage.
But Burnley drew level midway through the second period when Jay Rodriguez cracked the ball into the bottom corner after a free-kick had dropped invitingly for him inside the area.
Both teams had opportunities to win it, with Johann Berg Gudmundsson rattling Alisson Becker’s crossbar and Mohamed Salah having a late strike stopped by Pope.
Read on for a summary of what the manager told his post-match press conference at Anfield…
On his thoughts on the performance...
Good performance in most parts of the game. There were moments when it was like Liverpool against Nick Pope. I think it's the biggest challenge in football to play against a team which is that well organised and create against a team that is that well organised and has such an outstanding attitude like Burnley has. But we created super chances but there was one guy who wanted to deny us and that was Nick Pope. That was then the problem pretty much of the game because for different reasons this result left the door open for Burnley. It was always clear they had corners where Ali was really under pressure from three or four players around. Then free-kicks on top of that, not too much but some. It was clear they want to have these situations. When they had them it was always a threat. Apart from that, how I said, we really did well, we should have scored more but we didn’t do that. I'm fine with the performance for 80 minutes, I would say. More than fine because it was probably one of the best games we played against Burnley but we didn’t score and that’s why we only got a point.
On certain refereeing decisions during the game...
I didn’t speak about the Andy Robertson situation because in the game I didn't see it, I saw it after the game. Look, I spoke about the goalkeeper situations. I feel like we've lost the game. We didn’t, I know that and maybe it’s not the best moment then to talk about these things. It would be good [if] you win 4-0 and then you could talk to the ref about that – and I would have. But that's a problem. But how can you let it happen that a goalie constantly when a corner comes in is that three players are allowed to block him? That's just not how it should be. But for the ref it was obviously not a foul or not a problem and that’s why he didn’t whistle in these situations. That's what I told him. It had no influence on the result, how I realised later.
On the displays of Curtis Jones and Neco Williams...
Look, for a player with the creativity and the technical skills of Curtis, it's a good game to play. If the boys around him create these moments where Curtis can then really use these skills – turn, good orientation – our style of play suits him so that he can really be quite impressive, I know that. A lot of steps to go for him obviously. But it was a good game, that’s true. It's much more difficult for Neco to play on that side against a team who is pretty much there for counter-attacks and set-pieces, but he did really well as well. It was good, just good. How I said, the game was a really good game and they were all responsible for that. But in the end, it was just a draw and I cannot really deny that it feels completely like we've lost the game because we should have scored more often. But we didn’t but that’s our fault and nobody else’s fault. That's why it's 1-1.
Disappointed to not get all 3pts but we keep going !❤️ #ynwa @LFC https://t.co/5CBaVTWnO6— necowilliams01 (Neco Williams) 11th Jul 17:10
On Roberto Firmino not scoring at Anfield in the Premier League this season...
It cannot become a psychological problem because Bobby played today an outstanding game and we don't judge him. So I hope he will not read your newspaper if you make a story of it because we just don’t think about it. It's not important who scores. We need Bobby for other things, we need Bobby in exactly the spaces where he was today, we need him as a link-up for all the other things. We only have chances in other positions because Bobby plays the way he plays. And he will score, there is absolutely no doubt about it. We are not worried at all about that because he played an outstanding game today and was involved in so many decisive situations. In the end, nobody really scored apart from Robbo with a header, which is pretty exceptional. It will not become a problem.
On Andy Robertson’s performance after starting on the bench in midweek…
It helps. Millie was not available as well so thank god Neco is now here and made big steps in training so we can give the boys this kind of rest. Robbo came on in the last game already and made a massive difference, [so] there were 45 minutes pretty much which we saved him. That was really good and today was really good as well. Neco is now here and we can make these kind of decisions and it’s good.
On what Liverpool’s young players need to do to improve…
Nothing, just train with us and get used to different situations. It’s not that we now have to say, ‘OK, the left foot is weak’ and stuff like this – it is not about that, it is just getting used to the situations and the different situations in a Premier League football game, the intensity. In the moment if they make a mistake then it’s like, ‘OK, but they are still young’ and that’s all true – and [they are] human beings, which makes it even more tricky. So it’s all of these things, just to gain stability and be always there when you have to. It’s not that they have to make incredibly big steps. The best thing is if you would have the experience of a 35-year-old player in the legs of a 20-year-old player. That is perfect because at 35 years you have seen so many different situations on the pitch, you have experienced so many different moments that it doesn’t get you anymore, it is just normal. So yes, it was totally intense today and Burnley wanted to go for free-kicks and stuff like this, corners and all these things. We were constantly active, constantly in attacking situations, so how to deal with these situations and how to use spaces, you learn that while you are training with outstandingly good football players. That’s exactly what they will do. Then it’s up to them, that’s how it is. Who makes the best impression will get the first line-up shirt, it was always like this and will stay like this.
On whether it is difficult to blood young players when the stakes are so high…
I’m not sure it’s about how high the stakes are, it’s about how ready are the boys. I have never made that comparison, that we play for everything and that’s why you need to be in a specific age. There are no old and young players there are only good and not-so-good players – and I hope we have only good players, or even exceptional players. Who is in our squad should be ready to play. That’s why he is in the squad, the age is only only one [piece] of information from 500 other [pieces of] information. The problem is not with young players but generally with players is that the team is really good and as long as we show the attitude like we did today again, then it is just difficult to have 40 games in a row. Young players have so much time on their hands that they really can improve and don’t have the pressure - especially not from us. If they use the time, then the future is beautiful for them.
Andy Robertson has explained the thought process behind his stunning header that put Liverpool ahead against Burnley.
The Premier League champions took the lead at Anfield on Saturday thanks to Robertson’s expertly-taken finish from a trademark, lofted Fabinho pass, although Jay Rodriguez would later cancel the left-back’s effort out to deny the Reds a 25th successive home victory in the top flight.
An uncharacteristic lack of collective ruthlessness throughout the 90 minutes left Robertson frustrated with the end result, but the Scotland captain was satisfied with his second headed goal of the season following that unforgettable late drama at Villa Park in November.
“In my whole professional career I’d not scored a header and this season seems to be me and headers!” Robertson told Liverpoolfc.com with a smile.
“It was a good ball by Fab and I just thought if I can guide it over the far post then I had a chance and luckily it proved that way and it went in. I always prefer to score goals when it’s towards three points, but we’ll take the point and we’re already champions.”
Read on for our full post-match interview with the No.26…
Big Virgil’s reaction says it all!! Enjoyed the goal but disappointed not to get the 3 points! https://t.co/UM3Q7bvNjL— andrewrobertso5 (Andy Robertson) 11th Jul 16:47
Andy, is it fair to say you’ve played worse than that and won this season?
Yeah, 100 per cent. I thought, especially first half and then the start of the second, probably up to about 60 or 70 minutes, I thought we were excellent [in] the way we moved it about. I thought the only thing that you could say for us is that we didn’t take our chances and when you play against a team like Burnley, they grow in confidence as it stays 1-0. They feel as if they can nick a draw – one set-piece or one ball into the box and they fancy themselves and unfortunately that happened. We’ve definitely played worse this season and picked up all three points, so we can’t argue too much about the performance apart from the finishing in front of goal. But Burnley, credit to them. Burnley are a fantastic team, I really enjoy seeing what they do. The manager’s great, the squad’s great and that’s why they’re in the top 10 of this league. It’s not easy for them and consistently, year on year, they stay in the league and now they’re fighting for Europe. Credit to them, they took their chance [and] could have probably nicked it at the end when they hit the bar and they’re a good team. We’re frustrated at ourselves, but a draw, it is what it is.
Do you maybe lose a bit of ruthlessness when you’re so dominant in a game because you expect the chances to keep coming?
We did that today, yeah, but that’s the worst thing we can do. If we lose our ruthless streak then we don’t become champions. We’ve been ruthless all season - times when people thought we were down and out, like against Villa, we come back and we win. When we’re 1-0 up, we go and make it two and three and four, and that’s why we’ve been ahead of the rest so far this season. That’s why the points tally has been so big, because nobody else has been as ruthless as us. Today we maybe did lose that a little bit and that’s the worst thing we can do because every chance we need to treat as our last and we need to try and take it because if we’d done that, we could probably have been two or three-nil up at half-time and I think we’d have got all three points with that. So, we need to keep going, we need to keep creating the chances and hopefully when it falls to all of us in the next game and the games after then we’ll be more clinical in front of goal.
The desire and motivation was evident again today, though, despite the fact the league is already won…
Some people outside have said, ‘Is the desire there?’, but they obviously don’t know these lads or the manager very well because when you put on this badge, when you put on this shirt, it carries a responsibility. Yeah, against [Manchester] City we got beat but that can happen to any team and our application wasn’t wrong. Our application hasn’t been wrong in any game, we went into every game as if we’ve not been champions; we’ve prepared properly, we’ve played properly. Today, we could easily be sitting here [at] three or four-nil, three or four-one, and we’ve won the game comfortably. Football, it is what it is. We’ve not had many games like today where we’ve not took our chances and not been clinical and that’s why we’re so far ahead, because the teams below us have. We take the positives that maybe this performance came after we are champions rather than during the season, but we never like dropping points, especially at home, and now we need to rectify it.
Our No. 14 has performed a brilliant, euphoria-building, fast-foot dance in lifting each of his three major trophies won as captain of Liverpool over the past year or so.
It would be expected that this one, the first league championship in 30 years, would necessitate the biggest shuffle of all—but a knee injury sustained against Brighton has probably ended that hope.
Klopp acknowledged Henderson as a “great” captain of the club and said he was delighted the job had already been made before he arrived at the club—but the No. 14 won’t be on the pitch at Chelsea, when the Reds will receive the trophy.
Regarding the actual trophy lift itself, Klopp was asked about how Liverpool would ensure Henderson could have the involvement he deserves, with the skipper not able to be on the pitch for the match.
“We don’t know yet but we will do everything possible to do it the right way,” he told the media.
“Hendo will be there and wear the match kit and everything will be fine.
“He deserves exactly to be in that spot in that moment.
“If he had to have surgery and would have been in hospital it would have been difficult. But he’s not, rehab starts immediately he will fine in a few weeks and train again, play again.
“So we’ll find a solution where we show respect to what he did. All the other boys want that, want him to be there.
“One of the first things I heard after we won the league, Virg told Hendo ‘you can do the shuffle again!’—I’m not sure he can do the shuffle but that’s the smallest problem of all!”
A couple of potential solutions have already presented themself, with one being Henderson coming on as a late sub in the match, effectively not involving himself in play but being on the pitch for the final whistle.
Alternatively, he could simply join in with the rest of the squad, with players such as Adam Lallana and Joel Matip similarly likely to be outside of the matchday 20, but having played their own roles in the season.
Either way, the hard work which counts toward the title has come across the last 34 matches (and counting), not just in that last minute of the game against Chelsea.
Hendo has been a driving force for consistency and leadership, and there can be no denying now his status as an iconic skipper in the club’s history: A European Cup and League Championship-winning captain of Liverpool FC.
Jürgen Klopp saluted the development of Jordan Henderson the person and footballer on the five-year anniversary of him becoming Liverpool captain.
The No.14 succeeded Steven Gerrard in the role back in 2015 and has since lifted the Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup with the armband on for the Reds.
A knee injury will prevent Henderson from appearing in the remaining four fixtures of this season, but Klopp insists it won't stop him from raising the Premier League trophy aloft at the end of the campaign.
Read on below as the boss discussed the skipper and more at a press conference ahead of Saturday's fixture with Burnley...
❤️ https://t.co/z4xXcwW66Z— JHenderson (Jordan Henderson) 10th Jul 12:53
On Henderson's five years as Liverpool captain...
He's the only captain I had here at Liverpool and I'm overly happy that this decision was made before I came in. It's cool. How it always is in life, people have to grow in new roles. He had to do that and it was the most difficult job you could have, honestly, because in whatever manner the person who is doing the job after Stevie, it would always be difficult. But Hendo grew in that role. Meanwhile, he's probably a role model for the next generation of Liverpool skippers. Absolutely great. Nice to be part of this development really. He became a man age-wise and he became a really proper captain, that's exactly how it should be. On top of that, he improved. He was always a good player but made big steps in his game as well and that's while you are massively under pressure from outside expectations and stuff like this. That's a pretty interesting achievement, I have to say, and it's not easy to do. He did. So after his career when he looks back, there are a lot of reasons why he should be really proud.
On the skipper lifting the Premier League trophy...
We know since yesterday that the injury is not as serious as we really thought. It was a big relief because, for what he played in the last years now, he deserves being in that spot in that moment. But life is like [how] life is. If he would have had surgery, would've been in hospital and stuff like this, then it would have been difficult. But now he's not, so no surgery needed, rehab starts immediately, he will be fine in a few weeks and will train again and play again. We will find a solution that we show the respect for what he did. But all the other boys around, they all want that, by the way. They all want him to be there and that was one of the first things I heard after we won the league, I think Virg told him, 'You can do the shuffle again.' I'm not sure if he's able to do the shuffle but that's probably the smallest problem of all.
On how useful individual accolades are for certain members of his squad...
Look, if Ali wins the Golden Glove, that means we have obviously how many games with a clean sheet, which would really help us as a team. If we provide the winner of the Golden Boot, that means we have a lot of goals. So that helps absolutely. My players don't need individual targets to be highest motivated, but they don't disturb. They are absolutely rather helpful than anything else. But in the end, it's all about winning a football game. If it would be different, I would tell them it's not OK. But in the end, it's always first and foremost about winning a football game and not about the other stuff. But it's nice when you can win both.
Venue – Anfield, Liverpool
Referee – David Coote
Date & Time – Saturday, July 11th @ 15:00
Current Odds – Liverpool 1/4, Draw 19/4, Burnley 10/1
Liverpool are two wins from the perfect home record for a season. They’ve won 17 from 17, with just Burnley and Chelsea left to visit Merseyside. Also, The Reds are 9 points away from breaking the 100-point record for a season. You saw how Liverpool attacked at Brighton on Wednesday night. There’s no way this team feels there’s nothing left to play for. Jürgen Klopp’s Mighty Record-breaking Reds are still going strong and here’s hoping they steamroll their way through to the end of the campaign.FORM
Jürgen Klopp’s Reds have won three, drew one and lost one since June. More importantly, they tied up the club’s first league title success in 30 years during that period.
Last week, Manchester City took Liverpool apart, winning 4-0 at the Etihad Stadium with The Reds still in ‘celebration mode’. However, since then, Klopp’s men have beaten Aston Villa (2-0) and Brighton (3-1) to stay on track to beat City’s 100-points record haul for a Premier League season. With four games left, Liverpool know that three more wins will bring them to 101 points.
Burnley are unbeaten in their last four games, winning three of those fixtures. Their last defeat was at Manchester City (5-0) in the team’s first game back in action in June.
Since then, Sean Dyche’s side has beaten Watford, Crystal Palace and West Ham all by the same scoreline, 1-0. They also drew 1-1 at home to Sheffield United. That’s just one goal Burnley have conceded in four games since the loss at City.TEAM NEWS
Liverpool Team News
Liverpool will definitely be without Joël Matip who is out for the rest of the season. Jordan Henderson and Dejan Lovren are also unlikely to feature for The Reds on Saturday. Henderson suffered a knee injury in the win at Brighton on Wednesday night. Here’s hoping it doesn’t keep the captain out for too long.
Neco Williams started at left-back against Brighton but Andy Robertson should be back in the starting eleven against Burnley. I think Klopp will go with a full-strength back four, therefore, not resting Trent Alexander-Arnold.
With Henderson out injured, Gini Wijnaldum should come into the starting lineup while Naby Keïta will get the chance to continue his fine form.
Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané is likely to be the front three after Mané only came on after 60 minutes on Wednesday. Salah is due a rest but Klopp and co do seem determined to give him the best opportunity at getting his third consecutive Golden Boot award. After two goals and an assist at Brighton, it’s very hard to see The Egyptian King being on the bench against Burnley.
Burnley Team News
Sean Dyche has quite a few injury concerns at Burnley right now. He’s missing Matthew Lowton, Ben Gibson, Jack Cork, Ben Mee and Ashley Barnes for Saturday’s fixture. That’s at least four players who would normally start for Dyche.
Burnley are likely to stick with their 4-4-2 formation at Anfield.PREDICTED LINEUPS
Liverpool XI (4-3-3) – Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Keïta; Salah, Firmino, Mané
Burnley XI (4-4-2) – Pope; Bardsley, Long, Tarkowski, Taylor; Pieters, Westwood, Brownhill, McNeil; Rodriguez, Wood
WHEN THEY LAST MET
Liverpool won 3-0 when the sides met at Turf Moor back in August. An own goal from Chris Wood gave The Reds the lead in the first half. Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino added Liverpool’s other two goals on the day.
The last encounter at Anfield was a 4-2 win for Liverpool. Ashley Westwood gave Burnley an early lead in front of The Kop after a clear foul on Alisson. However, The Reds fought back to win thanks to two goals each from Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané. Jóhann Guðmundsson scored Burnley’s second goal late on but it was a mere consolation strike.PREDICTION
LIVERPOOL 2 – 0 BURNLEY
Liverpool have bounced back well from the 4-0 defeat at Manchester City. Jürgen Klopp’s Mighty Reds should have more than enough to see off Burnley on Saturday. I expect Mohamed Salah to have another great game after his brilliant display at Brighton on Wednesday.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp sympathised with Dean Smith after a contentious video assistant referee call went against Aston Villa on Thursday and claimed the system “should really find the right decision”.
Villa fell behind against Manchester United from a penalty which was awarded after Bruno Fernandes stepped into Ezri Konsa and went down inside the area when trying to turn on the ball.
Referee Jon Moss pointed to the spot and the decision was controversially backed up by VAR official Graham Scott, even though the United man appeared to be the one who fouled Konsa.
That was not the only debatable VAR decision of the day, with Tottenham denied a spot-kick despite Joshua King appearing to push Harry Kane in the box, while Southampton were given a penalty against Everton when James Ward-Prowse looked to be already falling into Andre Gomes before any contact was made.
On each of the three occasions, the VAR official went with the on-field call and Klopp questioned why it was so complicated for such decisions to be overturned when they seemed “obvious” to him.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the Premier League champions’ clash with Burnley, Klopp said: “I think it was a week ago, Jose (Mourinho) in his after-match interview said the decision is made by the guy in the studio. Now we have a situation where on one matchday three decisions should have been different.
“I can 100 per cent understand that Dean Smith is really struggling to accept what happened last night.
“I don’t know how it can happen, to be honest. It’s not about who makes the decision, whether it’s two people or three people, in the end it’s just about getting the right decision.
“What I don’t understand is that overruling is so complicated, that it must be a ‘clear and obvious’ misjudgement. I thought they were all obvious, but you’d have to ask the refs why they still stuck to the decision.
“It’s obviously difficult, but last night I didn’t think it was too difficult! It is obviously not right and not good.
“I really would like to think that in the end three people watch it, they should really find the right decision in the end.”
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds romped to the title and, with no other silverware available, are looking to end the league campaign in record-breaking fashion.
Liverpool need three wins from their remaining four fixtures to surpass Manchester City’s record points total of 100 set in 2017/18 and boast a 100 per cent record at Anfield heading into their penultimate home match.
Asked if the trip to Merseyside is less intimidating without fans there, Burnley boss Dyche said: “No, not necessarily. I mean, you’ve still got very good players in front of you – top players, in fact, some of them.
“They look hungry to me. They look like they want to achieve other markers in the season.
“I think it is obviously more so when there’s a full house there, but I’m saying it’s still not an easy task, whether it’s a full house there or not.
“I mean, Man City had that a real edge to them when we played them and a real sharpness to them in their game.
“I can’t presuppose anything other than Liverpool will be ready to play.”
“I think it’s highly unlikely with Ben, almost impossible with Lowton and Corky – they won’t be figuring,” Dyche said,
“Barnsey I doubt it. He is back on the grass, which is really pleasing but we’ve got to be careful with him of course.”