Liverpool vs Burnley 0-1: Ashley Barnes penalty ended insipid Liverpool’s long unbeaten run at home in the Premier League

As Liverpool’s season went from bad to so much worse here, Jurgen Klopp and his players paid a heavy price for picking a fight with the wrong people.
As half-time neared at Anfield, defender Fabinho appeared to kick out needlessly at Burnley’s Ashley Barnes. 

The Brazilian was booked and as Klopp made his way down the tunnel he became embroiled in a furious row with opposite number Sean Dyche.

Roll forward an hour and with Liverpool pushing for a win they desperately needed, Burnley broke to score the goal that delivered perhaps the shock result of the Premier League season.

Again Fabinho and Barnes were central to it. As the Burnley player broke into the penalty area, Fabinho looked as though he tried to block him instead of going with him. 

Whatever he was trying to do, it failed and when Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson brought Barnes down, the same player recovered to score the penalty.

So Liverpool’s title defence looks to be almost over. They were top when they scored seven to beat Crystal Palace a month ago but since then they have scored once in five league games and haven’t won any of them.

This was their first league defeat at Anfield since April 2017 and Liverpool now sit fourth. If teams win their games in hand, they won’t even be in the Champions League places. Next up in the league for Liverpool are games at Tottenham and West Ham.If Klopp has any sense he will pick a strong team in the FA Cup at Manchester United on Sunday.

Jurgen Klopp talks to Sky. “We lost a game which is actually impossible to lose, but we did it, and that’s my fault because my job is to make sure the boys have the right amount of confidence and make the right decisions. 

"That obviously didn’t work out tonight as we had the ball a lot. We created some situations, that is all ok, but in the final moment our decision-making is not right. That is the problem: you have the ball in the right place, then you don’t shoot, then you pass. I’m pretty sure I said the same thing last week (rueful laugh). 

"If something doesn’t work you have to try harder, longer, and make better decisions. The things that don’t work are my fault. The things that work are the players. We’ve worked that long together now. If I make clear which movements make sense because it will hurt the opponent, and they don’t do them, then I have to make it clearer. 

"That’s how it is. The good thing is, we can change it, we just have to work on it. And we can’t work on tonight’s game any more, but we can use it for the next one. I can’t believe we lost it, but it’s the truth and we have to accept that.”

Sean Dyche’s turn, “We did the basics very well. Structure and shape, and individual diligence. You still need a bit of luck. They had a couple of chances, and Popey’s had to make a good save. 

"But I’ve always believed in the side to find a moment, and we had a couple. And Barnesy had a penalty and slotted it away very well. They were probing, they were calm around the box, but our diligence was excellent. We don’t lack belief. 

"We lack a bit of talent sometimes, in the key areas up front, but we have never lacked belief. It’s the reality of what we do, the challenge at Burnley. Do the basics right to keep you in it, and find a moment, and tonight we found a moment. We know we’re going to have to find bigger moments but this has put us in a better position,"said.

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