The Reds show their key feature while Klopp goes all in against the Clarets
Jurgen Klopp obviously gambled against Burnley with seven changes made to the line-up. The Reds fell behind but managed to seal the win. Did the gambling pay off? Liverpool Echo's Ian Doyle provides the answer.
Comparisons to a game of poker would come in handy when talking about Liverpool's lates 1-3 win over Burnley. Jurgen Klopp looked like a gambler when he made seven changes to his side for the Clarets clash.
The boss explained he wanted to keep some players rested for the upcoming games. That's a fair point but seven changes? Wasn't that TOO much? For the first 45 minutes it seemed way too risky and useless given three points were needed badly.
@lfccgy man of the match. None other than our fearless goalkeeper. @Alissonbecker. What a class player. 9 clean sheets and helping @LiverpoolFC to our best start in 126 years. #YNWA #lfc #BURLIV #believe #thismeansmore pic.twitter.com/gujTYQYHxo— LFC Calgary (@lfccgy) December 6, 2018
"Certainly, it wasn't just the kit that appeared somewhat mix-and-match," Doyle writes for the Liverpool Echo. "Yet for much of the first hour, it simply didn't work. The players looked as perplexed as most observers inside the stadium as to what the formation – was it 4-4-2? 4-1-3-2? – was trying to achieve. Klopp's critics cleared their throats. Knives were being sharpened."
Liverpool were a different team after the break but even then the win didn't look obvious as Joe Hart was in the mood producing highlight-reel saves to deny Naby Keita and Daniel Sturridge. And when Jack Cork scored an opener it seemed the disaster was at the door.
Shows how far Liverpool have come, that Klopp can put out essentially his second team, in the Prem and still get the job done!! ? Games like last night, are ones that in the past we would have struggled to get a point from let alone all 3! ?? #BURLIV— Cam Weldon (@cameronweldon8) December 6, 2018
However, the Reds showed some spirit. Naby Keita was ruling our offence and that was the moment for Liverpool to demonstrate their key quality that sometimes is hidden behind technique. It's the Reds character.
Pressing on, pushing forward, and finally we saw James Milner finding the bottom corner. Form that moment there was only one team to win this. Roberto Firmino proved he is not worse as a sub than a starter and Xherdan Shaqiri made good work of Salah's skillful pass.
It turns out Klopp's going all in paid off.
"With 39 points after 15 games, this is Liverpool's best start to a season ever," says Ian Doyle. "Never in those 18 title wins have they been out the blocks so smartly. That they are still two points behind Manchester City underlines the task in hand. But City, watching at home, know it – Liverpool are on the hunt."