Liverpool 2, Burnley 1
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp savoured the unfamiliar taste of winning ugly after his team fought back against Burnley to boost their prospects of finishing in the top four of the Premier League.
The Reds fell behind at Anfield to Ashley Barnes’s early goal but replied just before the break through Georginio Wijnaldum and completed the comeback in the second half when Emre Can fired in from 20 yards.
Victory tightened Liverpool’s grip on a Champions League qualification spot, with Arsenal now five points behind in fifth place, albeit with two games in hand.
“The performance was good enough to win the game and the result is massive for us. It’s the first ugly game we’ve won. Usually when we are not that good, immediately we lose,” said Klopp.
“In the end actually I liked it because its this type of game that we didn’t win until now. It was not the most memorable game ever in the history of Liverpool but a very nice three points.”
Burnley, who have accrued just two points from their 14 top-flight away games this season, remain 12th, seven points above the relegation zone.
The Clarets looked set for their first away win of the campaign when Matt Lowton sliced open Liverpool’s defence with a low diagonal cross and Barnes converted at full stretch at the far post after six minutes.
Wijnaldum levelled in first-half injury time when he controlled Divock Origi’s cross and finished from close range. It was the Holland midfielder’s fifth goal since joining Liverpool last summer.
Can made amends for a shaky first period with the winning goal on 61 minutes, the Germany international steering a low shot past Tom Heaton from outside the penalty area.
Sadio Mane should have increased Liverpool’s lead but his poor control resulted in a hurried shot that Heaton tipped over, while Lowton blazed high when an equaliser beckoned in stoppage time.