Burnley 1-3 Liverpool: Stats Analysis
Liverpool came from behind to beat Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor on Wednesday night. What do the stats from the match tell us about it?
Prior to this game, the expected goal data from 2018/19 pointed towards a 2-0 win for Liverpool. Jürgen Klopp's team won by two goals in the end, but it was far from a straightforward, routine victory.
After a first half where the most significant event was Joe Gomez going off injured, few would've anticipated four goals after the break. The sides shared just seven shots in the opening 45 minutes. Burnley's trio were all from the edge of the box, or further, and not on target, while the visitors put a couple on target from Naby Keita and Virgil van Dijk.
Perhaps we should've expected Liverpool to come to life in the second half. This was their third league game in a row that was 0-0 at the break, and their full-time aggregate score across those matches is 7-1, with nine points in the bag. They'd also scored seven Premier League goals at Turf Moor prior to this game, with all seven occurring in the second half.
As it was, they had a whopping 10 shots on target in the second 45 minutes of the match. For context, there's currently 14 teams in the Premier League who haven't had that many across 180 minutes on average this season.
However, it was Burnley who opened the scoring. Liverpool went into the match as the only side to have conceded a single goal from a set piece in the Premier League in 2018/19. Despite a suspicion of offside, Jack Cork pounced to ensure Klopp's team now have the joint-best record in the division from dead ball situations.
Fortunately for the visitors, they had time on their side—Cork scored after 54 minutes—and two of their formidable front three on the bench. Since Mohamed Salah joined the club, this was the first league match (and only second in all competitions) where none of he, Firmino, or Sadio Mané started the game.
But before he could join the fray, Liverpool was level from an unlikely source. James Milner has mostly been reduced to penalties to get on the scoresheet in recent times, but after netting in open play at Arsenal recently, he did so again here.
The veteran has now scored in 50 Premier League games across his career, and his sides have never lost, winning 39 times. Divock Origi assisted the strike, giving him his second goal contribution in as many games (albeit this obviously wasn't as significant as his derby winner).
Enter Salah and Firmino three minutes after the goal, and three minutes after that the latter was on the score sheet. Having scored the winner from the bench against PSG earlier this season, the Brazilian picked up his fourth Liverpool goal as a substitute, with his first touch of the game.
His strike was the sixth by a Reds sub in 2018/19, which is already one more than the club netted in the whole of last season. Strangely, it was set up via Virgil van Dijk's second assist of the campaign, with both being for goals by Firmino the substitute.
Liverpool largely kept Burnley at bay for the rest of the clash, but they had their goalkeeper to thank late on. As the match entered injury time, the Reds' custodian made a superb save, then once he had recovered the ball he played it forward to Daniel Sturridge. He in turn fed Mohamed Salah, who squared it for Xherdan Shaqiri to settle the result.
It was the Egyptian's second assist for his new teammate this season, and with the former Stoke man having returned the favour with two assists himself, they're forming a potent little partnership. Even prior to the match, Joe Hart had conceded more Premier League goals against Liverpool than against any other side, so he'll be glad to see the back of them until March.
For the tenth time in the league, Klopp's Liverpool won a match after conceding first, to continue their remarkable start to the campaign. It isn't just their best ever start to a top flight season, but according to Duncan Alexander, AKA OptaJoe, it's the sixth best by any team ever.
And yet, as he also says, "it still feels like they're still hanging on by their fingertips." Manchester City aren't going to go away any time soon, so all the Reds can do is keep winning matches.
In tough conditions after going a goal down, Liverpool showed great character to win this match. They now head to Bournemouth on Saturday to see if they can equal their longest unbeaten run in the Premier League era.