Senegal international Sadio Mane and Diogo Jota rose to the occcasion as Liverpool claimed 2-0 win over Burnley on Saturday.
Burnley failed to repeat their historic win in January as excellent goals in each half from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane accompanied the return of Liverpool fans to their spiritual home.
Burnley, who ended Liverpool’s 68-game unbeaten run at Anfield on their last visit, started as crisply as their white strip with their line-up bearing numbers one to 11 like the old days.
But Liverpool, roared on by 54,000 for the first time in 18 months, got better the longer the game continued and should have won by more despite Burnley’s rugged tactics later likened to ‘wrestling’ by Jurgen Klopp.
Jota continued his scoring run with a bullet header from an equally fine delivery from Kostas Tsimikas after 18 minutes. Though a few nervy moments followed, Mane sealed the points after 69 minutes and other chances went begging.
Other bonuses for Klopp included 18-year-old Harvey Elliott impressing on his first Premier League start and the continuing comeback of Virgil van Dijk who looked his commanding self in the physical battle against Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes.
Skipper Jordan Henderson also started following an injury-blighted season and added composure to midfield to underline why Liverpool are in talks over a new contract.
Symbolically, it was also Henderson who laid a wreath in front of the supporters before kick off to mourn the passing of a 97th Hillsbrough victim, Andrew Devine.
‘Everyone was looking forward to this game, to this football fest and I don’t think anyone left disappointed,’ said Klopp afterwards with his team having won their opening two games without conceding..
‘It was a really special atmosphere. I understand why everyone will want to talk about Harvey because he’s only 18 but the way he played didn’t surprise me, that is how he has been in the last six weeks after coming back from loan at Blackburn.’.
Burnley are still looking for their first point. They started brightly but only angered Liverpool when Wood forced Alilsson into the first save of the game.
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