Nick Pope in Inspired Form as Liverpool Held By Burnley at Anfield

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LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JULY 11: Nick Pope of Burnley reacts during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield on July 11, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Pool via Getty Images)

Burnley goalkeeper Nick Pope made eight saves as the Clarets held Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at Anfield. This is the first points that the Reds have dropped at home in the league this season, and the first time they haven’t won a game where they’ve taken the lead. While Liverpool were dominant, it could have been even worse for them after Burnley hit the bar with time winding down.

Nick Pope in Inspired Form as Liverpool Held By Burnley at Anfield

Liverpool Fail to Capitalise on Their Dominance

To say Liverpool dominated the game is an understatement. The Reds had 70 per cent of the possession and took 23 shots to Burnley’s six. But, every time they got close to scoring, Nick Pope was in the way.

The Burnley goalkeeper showed why he is leading the race for the Premier League Golden Glove by making three stupendous saves. Mohamed Salah was the target for two of them. Pope expertly denied the Egyptian after he was played in by Roberto Firmino and then bailed out his defence after an error gave Salah an excellent chance.

When the goal finally did come, it was from an unexpected source. A corner broke out to midfielder Fabinho who played the ball into the box. Fullback Andrew Robertson was on hand to loop a great header into the net – it was only the Scotsman’s fourth goal since joining the club.

Pope also denied Sadio Mane with an incredible stop on the brink of halftime. The Senegalese was probably Liverpool’s best player despite his inability to score. He was a constant thorn in Burnley’s side and was successful with all his dribbles.

As for Pope, he was extremely modest after his incredible performance.

“You come to big grounds like this you expect to be busy. Liverpool are champions for a reason, so you’ve got to come here ready for action. I was fortunate enough to keep a couple out,” the goalkeeper said.

Klopp, however, recognized Nick Pope and Burnley for their efforts post-match.

“It was Liverpool v Nick Pope. A challenge to create against a team so well organized with an outstanding attitude that Burnley has. There was always one guy who was out to deny us, and we left it open for Burnley.”

Pope and Burnley Stun the Champions

After halftime, the Reds continued their domination and were unlucky not to double their lead after striker Roberto Firmino hit the post. This would have been the Brazilian’s first goal at Anfield this season.

But then came a moment that Liverpool couldn’t have expected. With time winding down and a drink break called, Liverpool seemed to be in a good position. But 11 seconds after the restart, it was 1-1.

A long free-kick was played into Liverpool’s box, and defender James Tarkowski won the initial header. Striker Jay Rodriguez controlled the knockdown and expertly shot the ball into the back of the net.

After going behind, Liverpool seemed to lose its way. The Reds were unable to string the same type of attacking moves as they had in the first half. Despite this, they could have had a penalty after Robertson seemed to be tripped in the box. Referee David Coote concluded that there wasn’t enough contact, and VAR agreed.

The equaliser galvanized Burnley, and the Clarets started to look more threatening. They nearly scored again after Jóhann Guðmundsson hit the bar following a poor clearance from Alisson.

Finally, Salah missed a golden chance at the end to win it as his shot was easily saved by Pope.

What Next For Burnley And Liverpool

While they didn’t win, Burnley will be the happier of the sides. The Clarets are the first Premier League team to stop Liverpool at Anfield. The Reds, on the other hand, will not be satisfied. This result means it will be more difficult for them to catch Manchester City’s record of 100 Premier League points.

“In the end, it was just a draw, and I cannot deny that it feels like we have completely lost the game. We should have scored more often, but it’s our fault,” said Klopp post-match.

Next up for the Reds is a trip to Arsenal before a home match against Chelsea. They must win both games if they want to beat City’s record.

As for Burnley, they host Wolverhampton Wanders next before a trip to already relegated Norwich City.

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