Liverpool fight back to beat Burnley 3-1

Roberto Firmino came off the bench to help Liverpool close the gap on Manchester City
Roberto Firmino came off the bench to help Liverpool close the gap on Manchester City

Substitute Roberto Firmino scored with his first touch as Liverpool came from behind to beat struggling Burnley and move two points behind leaders Manchester City in the Premier League table.

Jack Cork gave the hosts a surprise lead after Alisson could not gather the ball following a corner but Jurgen Klopp’s side hit back with three goals.

James Milner equalised with a superb low finish from distance and Firmino, one of seven players left out from the side that started against Everton on Sunday, tapped home from Virgil van Dyke’s cutback.

Xherdan Shaqiri sealed the points on the counter attack moments after Alisson had produced a superb save to deny Ben Mee.

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Reds dig deep to keep pressure on City

For the first time since May 2017, Klopp started a match without Salah, Firmino or Mane.

This was Liverpool’s 21st competitive game of the campaign and, with a lunchtime kick-off at Bournemouth on Saturday followed by a must-win Champions League game against Napoli on Tuesday, the Liverpool boss made wholesale changes.

For long periods it looked like the German’s decision could backfire.

The Reds were subdued in a first half in which they lost defender Joe Gomez – one of only four survivors from Sunday’s line-up – to injury after he collided with the advertising hoarding following a challenge with Mee.

Nevertheless Clarets keeper Joe Hart still had to save well from Daniel Sturridge and Naby Keita when the game was goalless and the visitors’ evening got worse when they conceded in the top-flight for the first time since 3 November.

Soon after Milner cancelled out Cork’s goal, leading scorer Mohamed Salah and Firmino were introduced and Liverpool finally took control.

Firmino was in the right place to tap home only his second top-flight goal in three months after a terrific assist from Van Dijk while Phil Bardsley cleared another effort by Keita off the line in the closing stages.

In a frantic finish, Alisson stretched to keep out Mee’s header out before Shaqiri finished emphatically after an excellent breakaway involving Sturridge and Salah.

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