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Burnley ends Liverpool's hopes of 100% Premier League home record

By Phil Dawkes
BBC Sport

Andrew Robertson's header was the 150th goal Liverpool have scored during their 58-game unbeaten league run at Anfield
Burnley ended new champions Liverpool's hopes of completing the season with a 100% Premier League home record thanks to Jay Rodriguez's second-half equaliser.

Clarets striker Rodriguez swivelled and fired home from inside the box following a James Tarkowski header to reward Sean Dyche's side for their resilience and persistence in the face of large periods of home dominance.

The visitors could even have left Anfield with all three points, but Johann Berg Gudmundsson fired an effort against the crossbar with just minutes remaining.

Andrew Robertson had given the home side the lead in the first half, but they also spurned a number of good opportunities to score more, with Mohamed Salah and Curtis Jones guilty of wayward shooting.

They also found Nick Pope in superb form, with the England goalkeeper producing a string of good saves to deny Salah and others.

Roberto Firmino struck the inside of the post with a low shot as Liverpool poured forward to try to capitalise on having more than 70% possession.

The draw means Liverpool can now no longer beat the Premier League record for home wins in a season; they need to beat Chelsea in their last game at Anfield to equal the league high of 18.

They remain in decent shape to achieve a highest-ever Premier League points haul; although with three games left and seven points short of the record of 100 set by Manchester City in 2017-18, they have no room for error.

Burnley are now five games unbeaten since they returned from the Premier League's three-month shutdown by losing 5-0 at Manchester City.

A draw leaves them ninth and still firmly in the mix for a place in next season's Europa League.

Liverpool's main goal this season has already been achieved, with the title taken from Manchester City in emphatic fashion.

Jurgen Klopp may have said this week that surpassing City's Premier League points record of 2017-18 was "not that important" to him, but it would provide a fitting cap to a stunning campaign.

Three wins from their remaining three games will see Klopp's side set a new benchmark, but it is not the only record still possible for them this season.

In reaching 100 points, City also set a record Premier League title-winning margin - finishing 19 points clear of their nearest challengers. Liverpool are 26 points ahead of City, albeit having played a game more.

They are also still on course to claim the most wins in a Premier League season (currently 32) and most home points in a campaign (55).

This was a small reminder, though, that for all the strides they have made over the past few seasons, the Reds remain fallible.

A bit of luck would have seen Liverpool home, with a post denying Firmino, while Pope was inspired, but Klopp's side also contributed to their own failure to win.

Salah was extremely wasteful, while Jones twice fired wide during an otherwise impressive display as midfield deputy for the injured Jordan Henderson.

At the other end, Alisson and Virgil van Dijk - for all their ability - can be as vulnerable as any to a well-placed delivery and a physical, aerial threat.

Disappointment then for the Reds, but a timely reminder that they are there to be got at and never truly the finished article.

Burnley's winless run at Anfield was extended to 13 matches by this draw, but they will only take positives from this display, offering further proof they are one of the Premier League's toughest nuts to crack.

Wave after wave of Liverpool attacks came and went without a goal as defenders Tarkowski and Kevin Long stood tall while goalkeeper Pope produced heroics.

They had just 29% possession, and only six shots to their opponents' 23, but Dyche's side are one of the masters of making a little go a long way.

Since losing at City on 22 June - their only defeat in 13 league games - Burnley have picked up 11 points from five matches, conceding just twice.

And all this has been achieved while dealing with an injury and contract crisis that deprived them of a host of their first-team regulars.

There is now light at the end of the tunnel in that regard, with Chris Wood fit to partner Rodriguez in attack again and Gudmundsson further stepping up his return.

It could be just the boost they need to push them over the line for another impressive European qualification.

Man of the match - Nick Pope (Burnley)
Pope was magnificent, making eight saves in the game to further underline his England credentials. His 14 clean sheets are the most of any goalkeeper in the Premier League this season
'For moments it was Liverpool against Pope'

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, speaking to BBC Sport: "For moments it was Liverpool against Pope, he did really well, but we should have scored. We did everything right and he made saves but we should have scored more, that's on us.

"We didn't close the game and they took their moment. It feels like we lost a game, we have to look after the game better. We were angry with the referee but we have to criticise ourselves first for not finishing the game.

"The team do it right 99% of the time but I will never stop criticising them."

Burnley boss Sean Dyche to BBC Sport: "We hit the bar late on but I think three points would have been over-egging it, we defended well and our keeper played well. They're a fine side, they're all over you so quickly and we couldn't get a foothold in the first half.

"Second half I reminded them that the presure was off, just go and play. Get it forwards and ask them more questions. You've got to find a moment, and we've been great at that.

"It's down to the players, we have built a mentality over time and they are delivering it with aplomb. We had some really good chances and we've taken one of them against a top, top side.

"Nick Pope makes saves, he's a top keeper."

Wasteful Salah outshoots Burnley
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah had as many shots as the whole Burnley team in this match (six) and twice as many on target (four), but failed to score.
Jurgen Klopp's side are now unbeaten in 58 Premier League home games - however, this draw ended their top-flight record run of 24 consecutive victories at Anfield.
Burnley have lost just one of their past 13 Premier League games (W7 D5), and are unbeaten in their past five. Only Manchester United (10) are on a longer current unbeaten run.
Liverpool had 23 shots in this match, their most in a Premier League game they failed to win since December 2017 (23 against Everton).
Andrew Robertson's goal was his first in the Premier League for Liverpool at Anfield in 790 days, since netting against Brighton on the final day of the 2017-18 campaign.
Burnley's Jay Rodriguez has scored in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since April 2018. Indeed, Rodriguez has been involved in a goal in each of his past four Premier League games (three goals, one assist).
Fabinho has been involved in three goals in his last five Premier League games for Liverpool (one goal, two assists), more than he had been in his previous 39 games in the competition (one goal, one assist).

Copyright - BBC

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