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Liverpool 1-1 Burnley

James Nalton reports from Anfield

Sean Dyche defended his Burnley side’s style after they earned a point against Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday, and could even have won the game late on.

The Lancashire club took the lead through Scott Arfield, after preying on Liverpool’s ongoing weaknesses at the back.

James Tarkowski’s long ball forward saw Robbie Brady beat Trent Alexander-Arnold in the air and the ball sailed into the middle through both of Liverpool’s centre backs, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan, who were distracted by Chris Wood. Arfield was on hand to tuck the loose ball past Simon Mignolet.

They then faced a barrage of shots for the rest of the match, but their game plan worked.

“You’ve got to defend well at these places, you’ve got to defend well in the Premier League, but especially at these places,” said Dyche.

“You know that they’re gonna have some efforts, but if we can keep them as far out as we kept them today — as in distance from the goal — it’s much harder to score from 30 yards than it is from six.”

His side conceded the equaliser just three minutes after opening the scoring. Emre Can’s long pass found Mohamed Salah, who controlled the ball well on the move and blasted his shot past Nick Pope.

“Our defensive unit was excellent, other than their goal,” said Dyche. 

“We were caught very square on a long ball — the irony of that — but that was it from the defensive unit, I thought they were excellent all afternoon.”

Despite regular struggles against teams who turn up to Anfield with a defensive mindset, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp found positives in the performance, having rotated his side following their draw against Sevilla in midweek.

“I think that was the best game we played so far when we’ve made seven changes,” said the German.

“You can see that this was an outstanding team on the pitch. It’s not that we have big issues where you say: ‘If we don’t change that we will never win a game again.’ In a lot of moments fortune was not on our side, we don’t use it as an excuse, but I cannot ignore the positive things.”

Dominic Solanke hit the bar for the home side towards the end of the game, while Ben Mee forced a good save from Mignolet at the other end, but neither side could snatch the win.

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