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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 8 March 2021

Lowly Burnley end Liverpool's remarkable unbeaten home run

Manager Klopp says: 'It's not about blaming. We have to sort it together and we will'

Burnley's Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring his team's winning goal against Liverpool at Anfield. EPA
Burnley's Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring his team's winning goal against Liverpool at Anfield. EPA

Champions Liverpool suffered a shock defeat to Burnley, ending a 68 match unbeaten home record in the Premier League.

An 83rd minute penalty from Ashley Barnes, after he was brought down by goalkeeper Alisson Becker, decided the contest when Jurgen Klopp's side failed to score for the fourth straight league match.

Klopp admitted that losing the unbeaten Anfield run was a "massive punch in the face".

Spluttering Liverpool have slipped to fourth place after a second defeat in their past three league games and trail leaders Manchester United by six points.

They have gone five league games without a win and it is seven hours and 18 minutes since they last found the net in the league.

Liverpool's goal drought prompted Klopp to leave Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino on the bench for an hour, but even the eventual introduction of the two star forwards couldn't spark a strong finish.

Divock Origi hit the bar for Liverpool in the first half, with only Burnley keeper Nick Pope to beat and Roberto Firmino missed a good chance after the break.

But for all their pressure and 73 per cent possession, Liverpool struggled to create real openings with Ben Mee and James Tarkowski outstanding in the centre of Burnley's defence.

"It's a massive, massive punch in the face," Klopp said. "We had the ball a lot, created some and didn't finish the situations off.

"That keeps the game open and then they get the penalty. Alisson told me he didn't touch him but I didn't see it back.

"We lost a game which I think it's actually impossible to lose. But we did it."

Backing his team to eventually resolve their problems, Klopp said: "It's not about blaming, we have to sort it together and we will.

"In football you don't have a lot of time. In the final moment, obviously our decision-making is not right at the moment, that's the problem.

"I have to make it clearer. How you come in behind their last line, these kind of things. That's the job we have to do."

Klopp's frustration with Liverpool's travails appeared to boil over in a half-time row with Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

"I didn't start it but all good. If he's not talking about it, I won't talk about it," Klopp said of the dispute.

His side were beaten in a home league game for the first time since Crystal Palace won at Anfield in April 2017.

Updated: January 22, 2021 07:51 AM

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