Liverpool come through tough test at Burnley

Burnley's Phillip Bardsley (left) and Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge
Burnley's Phillip Bardsley (left) and Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge

Liverpool’s title credentials were given a thorough examination at Turf Moor but they passed with flying colours after coming from behind to win a gruelling encounter 3-1.

Manager Jurgen Klopp’s gamble of making seven changes, including leaving out his big guns up front, was ultimately justified but for more than an hour it looked like backfiring.

The Clarets gave their visitors a tough test and after goalkeeper Joe Hart had kept them in the game with two top-class saves from Daniel Sturridge and Naby Keita, Jack Cork put them ahead just after the break.

However, James Milner soon equalised and after Klopp sent on Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino the latter converted from close range within four minutes of his arrival and Xherdan Shaqiri completed victory in added time.

It maintained their unbeaten start to the season and ensured the gap to Premier League leaders Manchester returned to two points.

Two minutes into the second half Sturridge forced Hart into his first real save with a low, left-footed effort with the former England goalkeeper doing even better to tip Keita’s strike onto a post.

But just when it seemed they were getting into their stride Liverpool were hit with the sucker punch.

Alisson Becker only half-saved the Woods’ deflection from James Tarkowski’s header at a corner and in the six-yard-area scramble that followed Cork reacted quickest to poke the ball home.

Their lead lasted barely eight minutes as Milner finally beat Hart with a low effort just inside the Burnley goalkeeper’s left hand post.

Firmino scored wit his first touch four minutes later, tapping home after Van Dijk, at full stretch, squared Trent Alexander-Arnold’s free-kick.

Then Alisson brilliantly clawed Mee’s header away from the top corner in added time and Liverpool counter-attacked for Shaqiri to score before, at the final whistle, Klopp and Burnley boss Sean Dyche exchanged words.