Andoni Iraola does not believe Bournemouth are safe yet despite ending a seven-game winless Premier League run with a 2-0 victory over Burnley.

The Clarets and Sheffield United are cut adrift at the bottom and the Cherries are now sitting in 13th place, 11 points clear of Luton in 18th.

“I’m satisfied with the situation that we have a gap of 11 points, it’s very good, it’s important,” said the Bournemouth boss.

“But we still need more wins, we still need more points. I feel that Luton, they have very good spirit, they fight every game and they can make a good run.”

Burnley dominated possession and chances but the two moments of real quality came from Bournemouth, with Justin Kluivert opening the scoring in the 13th minute and Antoine Semenyo making sure of the win two minutes from time.

Iraola was left with mixed feelings, saying: “Obviously I’m happy because we needed this win. For sure we played worse than the last games we’ve played, but we’ll take the win.

“I was disappointed with the performance in the first half. We made adjustments and the second half was much better from our side.”

The negative was a hamstring injury suffered early in the first half by key defender Marcos Senesi.

“I think it’s a clear strain in the hamstring,” said Iraola. “I hope it’s not very big.

“It’s a very bad moment for us because we don’t have too many defenders right now. Also for him personally because he has been called again with Argentina. I know that is something important for him.”

Burnley have now gone 10 games without a victory, conceding a combined 10 goals without reply in their last three.

Manager Vincent Kompany felt the performance was a substantial improvement on last weekend’s 3-0 defeat by Crystal Palace, saying: “I did think we put in the energy that we needed.

“We created I think more shots and chances than in any of the games we’ve played in the Premier League so far this season. And even after conceding the goal, we carried on.

“But the frustration is something that has to substitute into the next game. What we can’t drop is the energy levels we had today.”

Kompany bemoaned the consistency of officiating after Josh Cullen had a second-half effort ruled out for a foul by Jacob Bruun Larsen.

“In the context of this game, you can allow or disallow this goal and have kind of a 50-50 divide,” he said.

“But, if you zoom out a little bit and put this goal against the goal we conceded against Luton, impeding a player while you’re not making contact with the ball, it’s exactly what happened in reverse.

“So in that moment you don’t give a foul and in this moment you do. That side of it is difficult to handle this season.”

Burnley have now lost 11 of their 14 league matches at Turf Moor this season and boos were audible at the final whistle.

“That’s after every defeat in every club,” said Kompany. “It’s football.

“But as long as they’re there from the start, which it was, and throughout the game they support you, that’s part of the things you have to be able to deal with and eventually it all comes back in a positive way.”

Justin Kluivert and Antoine Semenyo were on target as Bournemouth ended a seven-match winless run in the Premier League with a 2-0 victory at Burnley.

The Clarets already appear doomed to relegation and, despite dominating possession and chances, they fell to an 11th home defeat from 14 league games at Turf Moor.

Kluivert provided a moment of real quality in the 13th minute to open the scoring, while Burnley had a second-half effort from Josh Cullen ruled out for a foul before Semenyo curled in a late second.

That sent the home fans heading for the exits, while Bournemouth are now 11 points clear of the bottom three.

Dominic Solanke gave Bournemouth a boost by defying a knee problem to make the starting line-up while Burnley boss Vincent Kompany made three changes from last weekend’s defeat by Crystal Palace, with Cullen taking over the armband from the suspended Josh Brownhill and Vitinho and Jacob Bruun Larsen also coming in.

Burnley set about their task with energy and enthusiasm and went close in the fourth minute when Wilson Odobert swept a cross from Lorenz Assignon straight at Neto.

Bournemouth were then dealt an early blow when defender Marcos Senesi appeared to sustain a hamstring injury and had to be replaced by Chris Mepham.

But moments later the Cherries were ahead, Burnley’s vulnerability at the back again exposed by a long ball from Lewis Cook that was seized on by Kluivert, who cut inside Dara O’Shea before lashing his shot past James Trafford.

Burnley were bossing possession and much of the play was around the Bournemouth box but too often the end product was missing.

Vitinho and Odobert both sent shots over the bar while at the other end a foul on Solanke just outside the box gave Marcus Tavernier the chance to fire in a free-kick, which was a few inches too high.

Burnley finally got in behind the Bournemouth defence in the 41st minute but Neto came out sharply to deny David Datro Fofana and Larsen’s follow-up was then blocked by Adam Smith with the goal empty.

Injury time saw the hosts go even closer, Neto just managing to claw away a very well-struck Larsen free-kick before Vitinho headed over a Charlie Taylor cross from in front of goal.

Bournemouth boss Andoni Iraola sent on Alex Scott for Ryan Christie for the second half and the Cherries nearly doubled their lead in the 56th minute when Kluivert broke free down the left and crossed for Solanke, who was denied by a good save from James Trafford.

Burnley thought they had finally equalised in the 66th minute when Cullen poked in but referee David Coote ruled it out for a foul by Larsen on Smith.

Semenyo twice came close to exploiting gaps in the Burnley defence with shots just past the post, while loud cheers from the home fans greeted the introduction of Manuel Benson.

He could not make an impression, though, and the points were wrapped up in the 88th minute when Semenyo again broke away down the right and this time curled his shot inside the post.

New Crystal Palace boss OIiver Glasner demanded his side stay “humble” after moving eight points clear of the relegation zone with a 3-0 home victory over 10-man Burnley in his first match in charge.

The Austrian, who only led his first training session on Wednesday, had declared himself “no magician” and warned there would not be too many changes implemented ahead of the Clarets’ trip to Selhurst Park.

Still, there seemed to be a clear brightening of spirits both in the stands and on the pitch after goals from Chris Richards, Jordan Ayew and a Jean-Philippe Mateta’s spot-kick lifted Palace to victory in front of an elated crowd, whose support moved the first-time Premier League manager.

Glasner said: “The players from the beginning, the players who came into the game, and also the bench, you can feel this. There was a good spirit. You are more often than me at Selhurst, but for me it was ‘wow.’

“Before the game in the locker room, what kind of spirit the players showed, what kind of power they showed, and for me it was ‘wow’ again when I entered the stadium before the game.

“In such an environment you’re able to show your best performance. I don’t think it was our best performance, but it was OK for the start.

“We know this is something we can build up our ideas, we can work the next weeks, and it’s also important to stay humble now. We know it was a very good performance, but they could also see many things we could improve and we will continue working on it.”

Burnley set themselves an unwelcome and ultimately insurmountable challenge after goalkeeper James Trafford’s weak back pass was intercepted by Jefferson Lerma and Josh Brownhill’s reacted by bringing the midfielder down to earn his 35th-minute sending-off.

Glasner might have been disappointed that it took until the 68th minute for Palace to break the deadlock via Richards’ header, the American defender’s first Premier League goal, four minutes before Ayew netted the hosts’ second.

Less than 10 minutes after providing Ayew and picking up his first Palace assist, substitute Matheus Franca was brought down by Vitinho and Mateta made it three goals to the good for the Eagles in the 72nd minute.

Burnley thought they had clawed one back in the 88th minute, but David Datro Fofana’s header was chalked off after a VAR check determined Lorenz Assignon had been offside in the build-up, potentially even interfering with Palace keeper Sam Johnstone.

The result was a bitter blow for Burnley, who remain eight points adrift of safety.

Vincent Kompany conceded it was always going to be a tough ask for his side after a red card he demurred to evaluate,  but he was more clear about how deeply-felt the loss had been.

He said: “It’s difficult to play in a game of this magnitude, and it’s really not something we could afford today, and it happened, and then after that it’s difficult to summarise what we’ve seen today.

“It’s one of them where you’ve got to pick yourself up again, because this one hurts, but the overall riding disappointment is on the fact that we had such a key event in a game where we couldn’t afford it.”

Oliver Glasner’s first match in charge of Crystal Palace ended in a buoyant 3-0 victory over 10-man Burnley at Selhurst Park.

The relegation-threatened hosts got off to a bright start and were on the front foot for the majority of the first half, but it remained goalless after the break despite Josh Brownhill’s 38th-minute sending–off.

Chris Richards broke the deadlock with his first Premier League goal, a 68th-minute header, before Jordan Ayew doubled the Eagles’ advantage four minutes later and Jean-Philippe Mateta’s spot-kick made the game safe.

Burnley had a late consolation chalked off, another blow on a disappointing end to an afternoon that saw Palace move eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Glasner, treated to a warm ovation when he was introduced to the crowd, had named an unchanged line-up from the Eagles’ 1-1 draw with Everton and employed the same 3-4-2-1 formation.

The Austrian had spoken of his goal-scoring ambitions for an Eagles side who, with 28 from 26 matches, had at kick-off only scored more than bottom side Sheffield United, the 17th-placed Toffees and Saturday’s opponents.

The visitors opened with what could have been a costly error, when Charlie Taylor’s pass back to his goalkeeper completely evaded James Trafford and went out for a Palace corner inside two minutes.

Glasner will have been encouraged by the fighting start from the hosts, who had few clear-cut chances but consistently found themselves on the front foot, the visitors seeing little of the ball until a brief spell around the 20-minute mark.

From then it was all Palace, Odsonne Edouard first seeing a chance deflected off Lorenz Assignon, then Trafford doing well to block Joachim Andersen’s close-range effort through a sea of bodies from the resulting corner and later going to ground to deny Edouard from nodding Adam Wharton’s cross past the post with an outstretched save.

Burnley were down to 10 men when Trafford’s weak pass allowed Jefferson Lerma to pounce and the under-pressure Brownhill responded by dragging the Palace midfielder down by the back of his shirt, earning an instant red from referee Lewis Smith.

Kompany instantly replaced Zeki Amdouni with Josh Cullen before Edouard skimmed the top of the crossbar with a free kick, and though Palace largely remained in control would have been frustrated the contest remained a stalemate at the break.

It was a similar story to start the second half, the hosts looking more likelier to break the deadlock but directing efforts narrowly off-target, while David Datro Fofana nodded a rare chance for Burnley wide.

Glasner made his first changes, swapping Wharton for Naouirou Ahamada and replacing Edouard with Matheus Franca,  his side taking a deserved lead two minutes later when Richards nodded Ayew’s cross into the bottom corner.

Franca picked up his first Palace assist after a brief pause, slipping a fine pass for Ayew to turn in at the far post in the 72nd minute, the goal standing following a VAR check.

VAR was consulted a second time after Burnley substitute Vitinho got himself into trouble almost immediately after his 75th-minute introduction, brought down Franca inside the 18-yard box.

The penalty stood after the check and Mateta obligingly converted, sending Trafford the wrong way in the 79th minute.

Palace had conceded more goals in the final 15 minutes than any other side in the division, and nearly looked to have added to the unfortunate statistic when Fofana nodded past Sam Johnstone in the 88th minute.

Smith was called to the monitor and the hosts’ clean sheet restored – which they kept even after playing more than 13 minutes of added time.

Burnley boss Vincent Kompany has revealed his father’s experiences as a political refugee give him the drive and determination to lead the club’s fight for Premier League survival.

The Clarets are on course for relegation after a 5-0 thrashing at home to Arsenal left them anchored in 19th place with just three wins this season, but Kompany’s resolve has roots far beyond the football pitch.

Explaining his hunger for the fight, the former Manchester City captain cited his father Pierre, who fled the Democratic Republic of Congo for Belgium as a dissident in 1975 having protested against the brutal dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko. He later went on to become Belgium’s first black mayor, and put his son on the path to a glittering sporting career.

Offering an emotional account of his inner drive, Kompany said: “It’s a deep answer; it’s about where you come from.

“Where I come from is my dad, who was a political refugee. He had to flee a country not just at war, but as a dictatorship where he was getting whipped in his twenties because he was against the regime over there.

“It’s fleeing from one part of the country to the other, it’s losing family members, it’s everything you’ve experienced. It’s where I come from.

“You say where does the drive and desire come from? I have so many reasons to have that fire in me every single day. So many reasons why I can’t ever do less.

“It’s bigger than one result, or a bad month, or anything like that.”

Kompany also pushed back against the notion that this season’s struggles were a new experience for someone more accustomed to lifting silverware than fighting the drop.

“That’s the bulk of the known experiences, yeah. But a gambler never tells you about his losses, right?” he said.

“That (a serial winner) is what you see, but my experiences feel different. I do feel I’ve had to overcome and do a lot to get where I was.

“You’re in a position where your job is the centre of your life, you’re that focused on it 24/7 that keeping perspective can be difficult, so to have my dad, my mum, our own experiences, it is important.

“It’s important to keep a steady course because you have a bad result and usually the way it works in football is it kind of defines who you are for the next week – you can imagine that after the Arsenal game.

“But the reality is it’s the strength of a team when you are able to move past it and not let it define you.”

One of Kompany’s players who will need plenty of mental strength in the days ahead is Aaron Ramsey, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season.

The 21-year-old left the field on a stretcher with what looked a nasty knee injury against the Gunners and faces a lengthy lay-off.

“Unfortunately for us he was as bad as we thought, definitely his season is over,” said Kompany.

“Maybe for the larger part of this year he won’t feature. I don’t want to go into specifics but the main thing is he’ll recover fully.”

Bukayo Saka is targeting his first Arsenal hat-trick after the in-form winger scored braces in back-to-back emphatic away wins for Mikel Arteta’s title challengers.

The 22-year-old and his team-mates are in electric form and followed up last weekend’s 6-0 win at West Ham by battering Burnley 5-0 on Saturday.

Saka scored a spot-kick and a goal from an open play in each of those emphatic triumphs but the academy graduate’s wait for a first Arsenal hat-trick goes on.

“I’m really pleased,” Saka said after the Gunners’ Turf Moor triumph. “I’m enjoying my football, but obviously I need to keep focused.

“But yeah, of course I’m happy to score two, two weeks in a row and hopefully the third one will come soon.

“It’s coming. It’s coming, but I need to be patient!”

Saka’s only senior hat-trick to date came at Old Trafford last June in England’s 7-0 victory against North Macedonia in a Euro 2024 qualifier.

The winger is likely to have a starring role for his country in Germany at the end of a season that all connected to the north London club hope ends in memorable fashion.

Arsenal are vying for the title and currently sit second, two points behind leaders Liverpool, having started a year with five straight league wins for the first time in club history.

“It was a lot of fun out there,” Saka told club media. “I really enjoyed it and it’s nice to see the fans coming up with new chants and stuff. I just loved it, so I enjoyed it.

“The boss has told us we’re the first Arsenal team to win five in a row at the start of the year, so it’s a nice achievement and we’ll definitely build momentum going forward.”

Arsenal have scored 21 goals in that five-game winning run and will look to take that form into the Champions League at Porto in Wednesday’s last-16 first leg.

“I think it’s really good,” Saka said of the Gunners’ free-scoring form.

“Definitely now that, not only that I’m playing well, the team’s playing well and we’re scoring a lot of goals because we’ve got some really important fixtures coming up, starting on Wednesday and I can’t wait to go there.

“I’m really excited. So yeah, looking forward to it and hopefully we can take this form into that game as well.”

While all connected to Arsenal left Turf Moor with a smile on their face, the home fans’ mood reflected the grim Lancashire weather on Saturday.

Vincent Kompany’s side’s hopes of survival are fading fast as Burnley turn their attention to next weekend’s trip to Crystal Palace.

Skipper Josh Brownhill said: “We’ve just got to review that game, the stuff that we can do better and work on that for this week.

“We’ve got a great chance to go away to Palace and put in a performance.

“But it’s the Premier League, you can’t expect any result in this division. They’re a good team, especially at home.

“They’ve got some really quality players so it’s not going to be easy at all.

“It’s one that we’re going to have to have a big week and go into that game and get our confidence back, that belief back and go on and put on a show.”

Mikel Arteta was delighted by his players’ unquenchable drive for more goals and wins after Arsenal racked up their fifth Premier League win in a row at relegation-threatened Burnley.

The north Londoners are in the middle of a tough title tussle and kept the pressure on both Liverpool and Manchester City by running amok at Turf Moor.

Martin Odegaard opening the scoring inside four minutes at embattled Burnley, where Bukayo Saka’s brace was complemented by Leandro Trossard and Kai Havertz efforts in a 5-0 win.

Saturday’s five-star performance followed on from last weekend’s 6-0 shellacking of West Ham, leaving boss Arteta delighted by his players’ hunger and drive for more.

“Really happy with the performance, with the result and the individual and collective contribution of each player as well,” the Arsenal boss said. “That was very, very good.

“And the fact that the team looked like it wanted more. It wasn’t satisfied.

“They wanted to score more, they didn’t want to concede a goal. I’m really pleased to hit that consistency.”

Asked if the domination has pleased him more than the goals recently, Arteta said: “Yeah. We want to dominate games and play in the opponent’s half as much as possible.

“I think the threat, the purpose, the activity and the connections of the players are flowing and they really want it.

“We have momentum now and we have to maintain it.

“Now we leave the Premier League, we go to Porto which will be a really tough environment, so just prepare to play well again and be ourselves.”

Arsenal head to Portugal for the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday buoyed by yet another comprehensive victory on the road.

Arteta praised confident skipper Odegaard after Saturday’s triumph, so too Saka after the homegrown star scored in four straight top-flight games for the first time in his career.

Put to the Arsenal boss that the forward has the maturity of a senior player despite only being 22, he said: “Yes, we don’t really see it (in football).

“Especially forward players and wingers with that level of consistency and numbers.

“At his age it is something really strange to find but it is not a coincidence when you look at him every single day.

“The way he trains, the way he applies himself, the qualities that he has. And he can do more.”

The heavy loss means embattled Burnley still only have managed five points at Turf Moor this season, leaving them staring down the barrel of relegation.

Burnley assistant Craig Bellamy was in the dugout against Arsenal as Vincent Kompany served a touchline ban and the Clarets boss did not like what he saw from the stands.

“Just not good enough,” Kompany said. “Arsenal were better than us in every department today. It’s a tough one to take on the chin.

“You look back at probably the last 10 to 15 games and we were always able to draw on positives from the game.

“Today’s one you have to take on the chin and probably say less and make sure that you get the energy back in the team for the next game because that’s all we’ve got to focus on now.

“You do get days like this sometimes and when you do and where we are in the league, you get punished and the gap shows then.”

Burnley return to action at Crystal Palace next weekend, when midfielder Aaron Ramsey will surely be absent having left on a stretcher with a nasty-looking knee injury.

“It didn’t look good,” Kompany added. “I can only hope for it not to be as bad as it looked and for him to hopefully have a speedy recovery.”

Bukayo Saka struck twice as Arsenal romped to a 5-0 victory at lifeless Burnley and extended their winning run to a fifth successive Premier League match.

Mikel Arteta’s title-chasing Gunners kept the pressure on Liverpool and Manchester City by making light work of what was always expected to be a straightforward Saturday assignment.

Martin Odegaard lashed Arsenal into an early lead at Turf Moor and they never looked back, with Saka’s brace complemented by Leandro Trossard and Kai Havertz efforts as they battered Burnley 5-0.

This is the first time that the north Londoners have ever begun a calendar year with five league wins on the bounce and that outcome appeared to be on the cards within four minutes of kick-off.

Odegaard hammered Arsenal ahead and Saka scored from the spot just before the break, adding to his double in last week’s stunning 6-0 win at West Ham.

The forward completed another brace before Trossard and Havertz added gloss as suspended boss Vincent Kompany watched his hapless team crumble from the stands.

There were some boos at the final whistle and an air of resignation around Turf Moor before kick-off – little wonder given their five-point haul on home soil is the worst in the Premier League.

That feeling of Burnley pessimism only grew inside four minutes as Arsenal’s first attack brought the opening goal.

Gabriel Martinelli’s cross from the left deflected off Lorenz Assignon and reached Odegaard on the edge of the box.

The Arsenal skipper took a smart touch and continued to laser a left-footed strike beyond James Trafford into the bottom corner.

That goal increased the incline on what was already an uphill challenge for the lacklustre Clarets, who Craig Bellamy was leading from the touchline.

David Raya denied a Wilson Odobert threat on a rare Burnley attack, with quick, sharp build-up play making life hard for the stumbling hosts at the other end.

Arsenal continued to knock on the door and their second came from the spot in the 41st minute.

Havertz played a quick ball on to Trossard in the box, with the forward going down under a challenge from Assignon.

The defender’s appeals fell on deaf ears and Trafford guessed correctly, but Saka’s spot-kick was just out of the goalkeeper’s reach.

This is the first time in the England star’s career that he has scored in four consecutive Premier League games, and he added his second of the day in the 47th minute.

Slipped through by patient Odegaard, Saka smartly made space under pressure to hammer past Trafford at his near post.

A bad afternoon for Burnley got worse when midfielder Aaron Ramsey sustained a nasty-looking injury after challenging with Odegaard.

There was a lengthy break in play as he received treatment before being taken off on a stretcher.

Trossard was guilty of two poor misses when play resumed, but he would sweep home from close range in the 66th minute to spark a mass exit.

Substitute Eddie Nketiah headed wide before Havertz added a fifth in the 78th minute as Burnley continued to flounder.

Jakub Kiwior’s throw-in caught out the hosts’ defence and put Havertz behind, with the summer signing cutting through Hannes Delcroix’s legs before scoring.

Substitute Jacob Bruun Larsen and Josh Brownhill tried to score a consolation between Odegaard seeing a free-kick saved as 10 minutes of second-half stoppage time came and went without another goal.

Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk insists they will “enjoy the ride” of challenging Manchester City in the Premier League title race.

Pep Guardiola’s side briefly went top of the table for the first time since November with their lunchtime win over Everton before a 3-1 victory over Burnley restored the Reds’ two-point lead.

The game against the Clarets was not without its difficulties and a record crowd of 59,896 endured some testing moments before second-half goals from Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez eased the pressure.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Virgil van Dijk (@virgilvandijk)

Van Dijk accepts there will be a degree of nervousness attached to their bid to prevent City winning an unprecedented fourth title in a row just because of the sustained consistency of their rivals’ results come this time of year but he believes Liverpool, who are still fighting on four fronts, are well placed.

“I think everyone would love to be in this situation that you are on the top and fighting for the pinnacle which is winning the Premier League,” he said.

“It’s very difficult to stay calm. In the first half when Burnley became a couple of times dangerous you felt the crowd get a bit nervous but that is how a human being is.

“We need the fans, we need all the players, we need everyone to be ready in order to find a way to win the game.

“We will have setbacks, we will have moments of difficulty but we have to deal with that. Let’s just enjoy the ride.

“We are in a situation that I think last year around this time you would never, well maybe not never, have believed where we are today.

“We can only influence what we are doing. That’s the only thing.”

After suffering only their second defeat at Arsenal the previous weekend, Liverpool – missing goalkeeper Alisson Becker and Joe Gomez through illness, Ibrahima Konate through suspension and Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szobozslai through injury, a list which was added to by Trent Alexander-Arnold’s half-time withdrawal with a recurrence of a knee problem – struggled to find any rhythm.

Even when they took the lead on the half-hour mark when Diogo Jota nodded in from close range after Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford misjudged an Alexander-Arnold corner, they were still not in control and Dara O’Brien’s powerful header could have posed a problem but Diaz’s goal seven minutes after the break allowed them to settle more.

Alexander-Arnold’s replacement Harvey Elliott provided both the assists and, despite earlier in the season admitting he did not want to be a ‘super sub’, his contributions off the bench have arguably been more influential than his displays when starting.

“It’s very important for these guys that when they have their moments, Harvey in this case, they grab them with both hands. We need them,” added Van Dijk.

“Even if you start on the bench, you have to be ready to make an impact. This was a great example of that again.

“He (Elliott) would love to be playing week in, week out, but playing at the highest level you also have to be patient and don’t be frustrated that you don’t play as sometimes it is part of the business.”

A 17th defeat of the season left Burnley still seven points from safety but manager Vincent Kompany was remaining positive.

“There’s enough in our performances that can get us results and we aren’t debating the performances, it’s more just the moments and putting them together,” he said.

“We can’t feel sorry for ourselves, if we perform, we can get the results.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will anxiously await an update on the fitness of Trent Alexander-Arnold after the defender injured the same knee which sidelined him for three weeks in January.

The 25-year-old, who set a new Premier League record of 58 assists by a defender with his corner for Diogo Jota’s opener in the 3-1 victory over Burnley at Anfield, was taken off at half-time.

“His knee again? Yes, it felt like that. He got it stuck in the grass and we will see. We have (to send for) assessment,” said Klopp.

“Same area in the knee. Nothing really bad, but he felt it again and we have to see, we have to assess it.

“Trent said ‘it’s fine’ but it’s not fine (because) he feels it so we had to be careful and took him off and that’s a double problem if you want: Trent is off and the other is we had no other right-backs available.

“So we told Curtis (Jones) what he had to do and we changed formation slightly and tried to make it as simple as possible for him, because it was first time in the life he has played the position (in the Premier League) and we didn’t want him to be the inverted right-back and have to think about these things as well.”

It may not be seen as such in the medium term but Alexander-Arnold’s departure proved beneficial as his replacement Harvey Elliott provided the assists for Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez after Dara O’Shea’s headed equaliser on the stroke of half-time.

“Harvey came on and did really well. All the other boys did well, scored 2-1 at the right moment to give the game the right direction,” added Klopp, whose side regained their two-point advantage at the top after Manchester City’s lunchtime win over Everton had briefly taken them to the summit for the first time since November.

“We scored the third and could have had more, it’s all good. Besides the Trent situation it is perfect.”

The match proved a test of both Liverpool’s mental and physical capabilities after defeat to Arsenal last week as illness affecting Alisson Becker and Joe Gomez added them to an absentee list which already includes Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai, while substitute Ryan Gravenberch was injured in the warm-up.

“Ryan, before the game, felt something. They told me he is fine but you cannot bring a player in who felt something when warming up so we had to act quickly and hopefully,” added Klopp, who said the game would have been like the “wild west” with just seven players on the field had the proposed blue card and sin bin been in use.

“A lot of the boys will be back before the next game because we need them obviously.”

While it was comfortable for Liverpool in the end it could have been different had David Fofana taken either or both of his one-on-one chances with Caoimhin Kelleher in the space of four second-half minutes with the score at 2-1.

“I’ve been to this place as a player quite a few times and we didn’t have as many chances as we did today,” said Burnley boss Vincent Kompany.

“You need to put away your chances and we didn’t do that.”

Liverpool responded to Manchester City’s brief return to the top of the Premier League table with a 3-1 win over Burnley which tested their mettle even more than their stretched resources.

Pep Guardiola’s side had overtaken their north-west rivals to reach the summit for the first time since November with victory in the lunchtime kick-off against Everton.

And while the three points re-established their two-point advantage the less-than-convincing nature of victory against the league’s next-bottom side was not quite befitting the occasion of Liverpool’s biggest league crowd of 60,725 after the full opening of the Anfield Road stand.

For a time it appeared the hosts, who due to flu in the camp were without goalkeeper Alisson Becker and Joe Gomez, were still suffering a hangover from the defeat at Arsenal last week.

It took the familiar right boot of Trent Alexander-Arnold, setting a new mark of 58 for Premier League assists by a defender, and the equally reliable head of Diogo Jota to get them out of first gear but even then it was far from a return to normality.

The sloppy concession of an equaliser to Dara O’Shea on the stroke of half-time posed further problems as did the withdrawal of Alexander-Arnold – only recently returned from a knee injury – at half-time.

But it was the England international’s replacement Harvey Elliott who set up goals for Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez to ease the pressure.

However, had on-loan Chelsea forward David Fofana been as clinical as he was scoring twice last weekend then not only would Liverpool still be looking up at City but questions would have started to be asked about their ability to match their long-time rivals blow-for-blow.

They do have Mohamed Salah and Dominic Szoboszlai to return from injury in the next couple of weeks but having negotiated January without the pair it was imperative they regained their momentum after their Emirates setback.

For 25 minutes it looked a struggle with Caoimhin Kelleher required to be out quickly to block Zeki Amdouni’s shot as early as the 10th minute as Klopp’s side struggled to find any rhythm.

Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones both fired rising shots over until, just past the half-hour, the breakthrough came when Clarets goalkeeper James Trafford misjudged the flight of a corner and Jota headed in his fifth goal in six games.

But O’Shea produced a better header from 12 yards from Josh Brownhill’s corner, outjumping Wataru Endo, now back from the Asian Cup, to power the ball past Kelleher.

Jones moved to right-back to fill in for Alexander-Arnold at the start of the second half but within seven minutes Elliott had made his first significant contribution when his low cross took a deflection off Maxime Esteve and allowing a stooping Diaz to nod in at the near post.

But although playing better they still looked far from secure and Kelleher made a huge save in the 64th minute in a one-on-one against Fofana, with Wilson Odobert blazing over the rebound, before the Burnley forward steered a shot wide of the far post with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Visiting sides rarely get the chance to squander such chances and after Jota had a shot tipped around the post, Jarell Quansah volleyed wide and Virgil van Dijk headed at Trafford it was left to Nunez to apply the finishing touch when he flicked a header inside the far post from Elliott’s cross.

The Uruguay international had a chance to make the scoreline more flattering in added time but, typically, shot straight at Trafford.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insisted Thiago Alcantara would play again this season but did not know whether fellow midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai would be fit for this month’s Carabao Cup final.

Thiago was injured after playing his first 10 minutes of the campaign in Sunday’s defeat at Arsenal, while Szoboszlai is sidelined after aggravating a hamstring problem which caused him to miss most of January.

With Mohamed Salah (hamstring) still potentially two weeks away from rejoining training, Ibrahima Konate suspended and flu affecting the squad – Joe Gomez did not train on Thursday – the German jokingly threatened to throw out of the room anyone who suggested the options he had at his disposal were a luxury.

“Two or three weeks ago we sat here and were talking about the luxury problem of lining up players: if anybody asks me that question again then I will kick them out of the room,” said Klopp ahead of Saturday’s visit of Burnley.

“We talk once about it, then a week later we have a completely different situation.

“Thiago is not cool. Everything looked absolutely fantastic in training and then it’s a muscle issue.

“We don’t know the extent yet but it’s really not good news for him, for us or everybody.

“In normal procedure it wouldn’t be a big story as he wouldn’t have been out a long time. It’s not a big injury, definitely not, but it’s something nobody needed.”

On Szoboszlai, Klopp added: “Dom is running outside at the moment but is not ready for tomorrow.

“It’s pretty much the same injury as he had before, obviously it’s really not good that he got that again.

“We are fighting for days, if you want. Is it Brentford? Is it the final (against Chelsea on February 25) or is it after the final? I don’t know at the moment.

“Mo is going in the right direction. We hope – but we don’t know – that he can be a part of training next week. If you ask him, it’s next week.”

After the defeat at Arsenal, only their second loss this season, Klopp said he had no problems in lifting his players for the visit of next-bottom Burnley in front of the ground’s biggest attendance of 60,000 as all but a small part of the refurbished Anfield Road stand was now open.

However, he stressed they had to ignore the visitors’ form which has left them seven points from Premier League safety.

“From the outside world it is probably a proper banana skin. For a sportsperson it is probably not as it is an opponent we respect a lot,” he added.

“The first thing we should forget is where Burnley is in the table as that creates a potential banana skin – it’s just a game.”

As a player Vincent Kompany never won at Anfield in eight visits with Manchester City but played a pivotal role in preventing Liverpool winning the title in 2018-19 with a brilliant 25-yarder against Leicester which edged them a point ahead of Klopp’s side heading into the final game.

“I forgave him for that a long time (ago). If there are players I should hate, Arjen Robben is one of them,” said Klopp, referring to the then Bayern Munich winger’s 89th-minute winner against his Borussia Dortmund side in the 2013 Champions League final.

“I believe there are other situations in that season that were more influential than when Vincent Kompany scores that goal – and when I think about that situation I still think (James) Maddison should have blocked the shot.

“Vincent just tried to get rid of the ball and it ended up in the goal. Not that it’s not important but yes, I forgave long ago.”

Vincent Kompany said David Fofana offers Burnley “something different” after the on-loan Chelsea striker came off the bench to rescue a point in a 2-2 draw against Fulham.

Burnley looked destined to lose their 10th home game in 12 this season after Fulham took control with two goals in the space of five first-half minutes from Joao Palhinha and Rodrigo Muniz – the Brazilian scoring his first Premier League goal.

But Fofana, making his home debut, came off the bench just after the hour and headed Burnley back into the game in the 71st minute before bundling in an equaliser in the first minute of stoppage time – two goals in 20 minutes matching his return from 17 appearances for Union Berlin during his last loan move.

“We can use any help we can get and David showed today that he gives us something different and we will need it,” said Kompany.

“I’ve not spent one second talking with him about what he did in the Premier League or with Chelsea. But he’s played in the Bundesliga, which is a very, very tough league and he’s a player that comes back with a wealth of experience.”

All three of Burnley’s January arrivals featured, with Lorenz Assignon making his debut from the start and fellow deadline-day arrival Maxime Esteve coming on at half-time to reinforce a defence too easily breached in the 17th and 21st minutes.

“I think that was a turning point for us, the performance of Fofana, the performance of Maxime Esteve, the performance of Assignon and the other players who came off the bench, that was a turning point for us,” Kompany said. “We have to have this week-in, week-out.”

Burnley, still seven points from safety, have been on the wrong end of late drama recently, but this result ended a run of 19 Premier League games in which conceding the first goal had spelled defeat for the Clarets.

“That’s what football is made for,” Kompany said. “In the first half we didn’t start badly at all but kind of out of nothing we’re 1-0 down and out of even less we’re 2-0 down and then, the first half, there was no real momentum in it, we didn’t really get going.

“But I saw a team at half-time that had character and passion and wanted to fight. The guys had a go at each other, five minutes later they’re in a huddle and they were ready to run their socks off and they got their rewards.”

While Burnley celebrated, Fulham rued what had looked like a golden opportunity to end a winless run away from home that stretches back to the opening day of the season, and a winless league run at Turf Moor which dates back to 1951.

“There is frustration of course in our dressing room at the way we lost two points this afternoon,” Marco Silva said.

“Until the moment they scored for 2-1 we are the best team in the pitch. We could have made it 3-0 instead of 2-1 but for their exceptional goalkeeper who kept them in the game.

“We lost two points because they punished the mistakes, it’s not the first time it has happened.

“You have to be stronger at this level. If you make mistakes of course you are punished. For 70 minutes we played so well but you cannot switch off and be naive like we were.”

David Fofana came off the bench to mark his home debut with two goals as his stoppage-time equaliser earned Burnley a point in a 2-2 draw against Fulham.

The Cottagers, without an away victory since the opening day of the season and winless in the league at Turf Moor since 1951, appeared to be cruising after goals from Joao Palhinha and Rodrigo Muniz had them 2-0 up inside 21 minutes.

But on-loan Chelsea striker Fofana, on as a substitute just after the hour, got them back into it with a 71st-minute header before bundling in the leveller in the first minute of stoppage time – equalling in 20 minutes his number of league goals for Union Berlin in 17 games during a previous loan this season.

Vincent Kompany’s side remain seven points adrift of safety, but this ended a run of 19 Premier League games in which Burnley had lost after conceding first, and the mood inside Turf Moor improved dramatically after Fofana’s late intervention.

Kompany’s side, whose last league win was away to Fulham on December 23, began well and kept the Cottagers inside their own half. After Lyle Foster dispossessed Tosin Adarabioyo it took a superb recovery tackle from Tim Ream to deny Wilson Odobert a clear shot at goal.

But it fell apart very quickly. Kompany gave a debut to Lorenz Assignon, who arrived on loan from Rennes on deadline day, but the right-back needlessly conceded a 17th-minute corner when he shepherded the ball out of play rather than hook it clear.

The mistake was instantly punished as Andreas Pereira whipped the ball in and Palhinha turned it goalwards, with his header beating James Trafford with the help of a deflection off Sander Berge.

It got worse four minutes later when Antonee Robinson’s long punt up field turned into the perfect ball for Muniz to score his first Premier League goal.

The 22-year-old Brazilian, starting in place of the injured Raul Jimenez with new boy Armando Broja on the bench, was played onside by Vitinho as he got goalside of Hjalmar Ekdal, running at Trafford before lifting the ball over the exposed goalkeeper to a chorus of boos from the Turf Moor crowd.

Ekdal was hooked at half-time as Maxime Esteve, Burnley’s other deadline day signing on loan from Montpellier, came on for his debut.

Josh Brownhill, making his 100th Premier League appearance, had a shot which picked up a deflection on its way to Bernd Leno, but it was Fulham who continued to probe to the frustration of the home fans.

Willian’s curling low shot was pushed aside by Trafford, who then repelled Adarabioyo’s powerful header from the resulting corner. Soon after, the goalkeeper made a smart save to deny Muniz at his near post.

Fofana came on for his home debut alongside Johann Berg Gudmundsson just after the hour, and soon set up Brownhill, who blazed wastefully over.

Moments later, the Ivorian was celebrating his first Burnley goal. Assignon led a breakaway down the left, and sent in a cross which sailed over Leno to leave Fofana to head into an open goal.

Marco Silva responded by giving Broja his debut but his decision to reinforce the defence with Kenny Tete backfired.

The Dutchman missed what looked a routine interception of Gudmundsson’s ball forward and it ran through to Odobert to send in a low cross, and Fofana beat Ream to the the near post to divert it home.

The goal survived a VAR check for handball, to the delight of the home crowd and the relief of Kompany.

Pep Guardiola admits he faces a selection headache now that all of his Manchester City stars are back fit as the Premier League title race heats up.

Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Burnley saw Kevin De Bruyne make his first start since the opening day of the season following a hamstring injury, while Erling Haaland returned from a foot problem as a second-half substitute.

But it was again Julian Alvarez who was the star for City, with the Argentinian World Cup winner scoring twice in the first half as City cruised to victory.

The hosts took complete control when Rodri added a third early in the second half before Ameen Al-Dakhil got a late consolation for Vincent Kompany’s men.

Alvarez has enjoyed an extended run in Guardiola’s side this season, in large part thanks to De Bruyne’s absence and his brace took him to 15 goals for the campaign.

“For his age, for the numbers in the Premier League, for what he gives to all the team it is unbelievable,” Guardiola said.

“He’s a world champion playing alongside (Lionel) Messi, (Angel) Di Maria and Enzo Fernandez. If you are not good you cannot play in that team.

“He can play in three different positions and have an incredible sense with the intensity to run. He’s really good.”

That versatility could be key to Alvarez’s hopes of retaining his place in the City starting eleven.

“They can play together,” added. “They are exceptional players. It gives me more of a headache for selection but they need to compete with each other.”

After missing 10 games with a bone injury, Haaland started the night on the bench and came on to replace De Bruyne in the 71st minute. His first attempt at goal was a mis-kick, but Guardiola was pleased with the way he led the line.

Asked if he needed to be eased back in, Guardiola said: “If it was 7-0 at half-time he would have played more minutes. If it was 0-0 maybe he wouldn’t have played a minute.

“I saw him sharp, the feeling that he was there. He didn’t have clear chances but he has three or four, and the moment when Jeremy (Doku) didn’t see him but he can score with his quality.

“It has been really good without him for the last two months but with him we are a better team and we are really pleased that he is back.”

Burnley, without a top-flight win away to Manchester City since 1963, probably knew what to expect from the night, but at least took consolation from Al-Dakhil’s late goal, their first at the Etihad since 2019.

But the loss leaves them still deep in trouble, seven points adrift of safety with only 12 points from 22 games.

“It’s never great when you lose,” former City captain Kompany said. “They’re a great side, we know that. It felt like a lot had to go our way for us to get something.

“In moments we were dangerous. We could’ve avoided the goals. We have to move on against Fulham (on Saturday).

“My job is to give the guys support in these moments and hold them accountable. But we’re playing against a team that exploits every mistake… we’re showing bits that should make us confident.”

Kompany indicated he is still hopeful of some business before Thursday’s transfer deadline, but admitted finding game-changing signings was highly unlikely.

“I hope something will happen tomorrow,” he said. “We have to rely on the boys we have. You can make miracle transfers but they’re very difficult to find.”

Page 1 of 23
© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.