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Burnley 0-2 Liverpool: Nunez & Jota goals put Reds top of the league

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Goals at the start and end of the match saw Liverpool beat Burnley and move top of the Premier League, but it could and should have been a more comfortable victory on Boxing Day.

Burnley 0-2 Liverpool

Premier League (19), Turf Moor
December 26, 2023

Goals

Nunez 6′ (assist: Gakpo)
Jota 90′ (assist: Diaz)


Jurgen Klopp made five changes to the starting lineup that drew with Arsenal last time out, with Darwin Nunez coming into the attack – a decision that was vindicated in the sixth minute.

Nunez provided a lovely finish from the edge of the box after good work from Cody Gakpo down the left; thus ending the Uruguayan’s 12-game goal drought.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 26, 2023: Liverpool's Darwin Núñez scores the first goal22 during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

An instinctive Mo Salah shot a minute later almost doubled the lead, and Gakpo flashed a half volley wide within the opening 10 minutes.

Gakpo did have the ball in the net on the half hour, but it was disallowed for a foul by Nunez in the build up.

Liverpool pushed for the second goal, Gakpo with a lovely assist for Salah who struck the bar from the edge of the box.

Wataru Endo forced a good save before the break, and Salah again went close. Quite how Liverpool were only one ahead of the break was incredible.

Half time: Burnley 0-1 Liverpool

The second half began in the same vein, Liverpool dominating but somehow not getting the second goal; Harvey Elliott‘s strike was ruled out for an offside against Salah – despite Salah being pushed into an offside position by a Burnley play.

Yet another controversial decision against Liverpool from referee Paul Tierney.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 26, 2023: Liverpool's Harvey Elliott scores the second goal, but it is disallowed, during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Burnley found some momentum for the first time in the match around the hour, while Liverpool struggled to manage the game and began to look less fresh.

But it was Liverpool who eventually went closest yet again – Dominik Szoboszlai, on as a sub, somehow not able to steer the ball home from pretty much on the goal line.

Luis Diaz, another sub, forced Burnley ‘keeper James Trafford into his eighth save of the match shortly before the end, but it was another sub, the returning Diogo Jota, who finally put the game to bed right on 90 minutes.

The Portuguese forward showed what Liverpool have been missing in his absence, with some nice footwork and a finish for his 50th goal for the club.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 26, 2023: Liverpool's Diogo Jota scores the second goal in the 90th minute during the FA Premier League match between Burnley FC and Liverpool FC at Turf Moor. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Victory puts the Reds top of the table, albeit having played a game more than Aston Villa (who play late on Boxing Day evening) and Arsenal (who play on Thursday).

TIA Man of the Match: Virgil van Dijk


Referee: Paul Tierney

Burnley: Trafford; Vitinho, O’Shea, Beyer, Taylor; Berge, Brownhill; Tresor, Amdouni, Odobert; Foster

Subs: Muric, Roberts, Delcroix, Gudmundsson, Cullen, Larsen, Rodgriguez, Redmond, Ramsey

Liverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Quansah, Van Dijk, Gomez; Endo, Elliott (Szoboszlai 66′), Gravenberch (Jones 66′); Salah, Nunez (Jota 84′), Gakpo (Diaz 66′)

Subs not used: Kelleher, Chambers, Bradley, Konate, McConnell

Next Match: Newcastle (home, Monday 1 January, 2024)