LIVERPOOL: Emre Can’s superb shot guided Liverpool to a 2-1 home win over Burnley on Sunday and maintained their bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Ashley Barnes, with his club’s first goal at Anfield since 1975, had given Burnley a deserved early lead only for Georginio Wijnaldum to equalise in first-half injury-time.
And Can struck just after the hour mark to secure victory for Liverpool, although it was a far from convincing performance by Jurgen Klopp’s side.
German international Can collected a short pass from Divock Origi and was allowed space to unleash a right-foot shot from 25 yards which the Burnley goalkeeper, Tom Heaton, might have been expected to save before it reached the bottom left-hand corner of his net.
Victory saw Liverpool remain fourth, still in the final Champions League place open to English clubs.
The win moved them to within a point of third-placed Manchester City but, more significantly, saw Liverpool go five points clear of fifth-placed Arsenal.
“The performance was good enough to win the game but the result is massive for us, it’s the first ugly game we have won,” Liverpool manager Klopp told Sky Sports. “Usually when we are not that good we lose.”
Meanwhile Burnley boss Sean Dyche was left bemoaning his side’s lack of good fortune.
“It’s a tough one to take, because everyone gave a really good account of ourselves and we went up with a sublime goal,” he told the BBC. “We just needed a scratch of luck along the way.”
Liverpool had gone in at the half-time interval level although it was a scoreline that even the most ardent home supporter would have admitted was harsh on Burnley.