Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Firmino, Mane sink Burnley to keep Reds in race

Firmino Mane sink Burnley
Sadio Mane of Liverpool and Heung-Min Son of Tottenham Hotspur clash as Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool attempts to block the ball during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool FC.

LIVERPOOL, March 10: Roberto Firmino returned to goalscoring form at the perfect moment for Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, hitting the net twice in a 4-2 victory over Burnley that hauled them back to within a point of Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Sadio Mane was also on the scoresheet twice in a game in which Liverpool were required to respond to falling a goal behind against Sean Dyche’s struggling side.
And with City having opened a four-point gap over Liverpool, with a victory over Watford on Saturday, the pressure was clearly on Klopp and his players to respond, which they did impressively despite the controversial manner of Burnley’s opening goal.
Firmino had a large role to play in steadying Liverpool nerves, taking his league tally for the season to 11 and ending a six-game goal drought as his side reacted impressively to going a goal down in the sixth minute.
Defender Joel Matip needlessly conceded a corner which Ashley Westwood took from the left wing and curled directly into the Liverpool goal, with home goalkeeper Alisson protesting furiously that he had been impeded in his attempts to deal with it.
Replays suggested Alisson had a strong point, with defender James Tarkowski leaning on the Brazilian from behind and Jack Cork making contact in front of him. The goalkeeper’s furious reaction, sprinting 40 yards to remonstrate with referee Andre Marriner, earned him a booking.
This was a real test of Liverpool’s mental fortitude after a run that has seen them draw five of their previous seven games in the league and Champions League.
They trailed for just 13 minutes, equalising with a flowing move started when Mohamed Salah and Georginio Wijnaldum exchanged passes and the Egyptian drilled over a pacy near-post cross.
Burnley’s England goalkeeper Tom Heaton and Tarkowski both had chances to clear but somehow allowed the ball to pass through them for Firmino to tap into an open net. (AFP)