Without Sadio Mane, Liverpool struggle to 1-1 versus Burnley in EPL
By Associated Press | Published: 17th September 2017 12:33 AM |
LIVERPOOL: Liverpool failed to overcome the absence of suspended forward Sadio Mane as it was held by Burnley to 1-1 at Anfield in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Scott Arfield gave Burnley the lead against the run of play but Liverpool levelled just three minutes later through Mohamed Salah.
Despite trailing in almost every match stat, Sean Dyche's side held firm to continue its impressive start to the season.
Burnley has picked up away points at three of last season's top-six teams, beating Chelsea on the opening day and drawing against Tottenham at Wembley.
Juergen Klopp hoped Philippe Coutinho's return to the starting lineup would ease the creative void left by the absence of Mane, who was sent off in the hiding from Manchester City a week ago.
Coutinho attempted to force through a transfer to Barcelona during the summer but was afforded a kind reception from the home fans. He is perhaps still lacking match fitness after recovering from a bad back.
Liverpool's frailty in defense was exposed once more as Arfield finished calmly from the edge of the box in the 27th minute after the Reds twice failed to clear a long ball.
However, the home side produced the perfect response as the impressive Salah controlled Emre Can's pass on the edge of the box before swiveling and finding the bottom corner with a low strike.
Liverpool created plenty of chances to win the game, with Salah finding goalkeeper Nick Pope rather than the back of the net on multiple occasions.
Substitute Dominic Solanke came closest to winning it for the Reds as he struck the bar with a side-footed volley late on.
Having appeared to announce itself as a potential title contender with a 4-0 victory over Arsenal in late August, Liverpool has slipped to eighth on the table, and Klopp will be concerned as to how his side will cope without Mane at Leicester in a week.
Burnley sits above Liverpool in seventh thanks to a superior goal difference, having negotiated what looked like an extremely tough start to the season.