Burnley stun Liverpool to end unbeaten home record


Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Burnley - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - January 21, 2021 Burnley's Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring their first goal Pool via REUTERS/Jon Super

LIVERPOOL, England (Reuters) - Champions Liverpool suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to lowly Burnley on Thursday, ending their 68 match unbeaten home record in the Premier League as their title defence continued to fade.

An 83rd minute penalty from Ashley Barnes, after he was brought down by goalkeeper Alisson Becker, decided the contest after Juergen Klopp's side failed to score for the fourth straight league match.

Matt Lowton nodded a header into the box and Barnes wriggled free of Fabinho and went down under challenge from Becker, rising to confidently convert from the spot.

Liverpool have not won for five games in the league and trail leaders Manchester United by six points, in fourth place.

"We can't imagine the title race at the moment," said Klopp, who last saw his team lose at home in the Premier League in April 2017 when they lost to Crystal Palace.

"When I look back I think how is it possible we lost this game but we did. We have to work hard to do the right things. It is not an easy situation. I have to make clearer what we have to do in the right moments and then we will score goals again."

It was Burnley's first victory at Anfield since a 1-0 victory in September 1974 and Sean Dyche's side were rewarded for a superb defensive display.

Divock Origi had struck the bar for Liverpool in the first half, with only Burnley keeper Nick Pope to beat and Roberto Firmino missed a good chance after the break.

But for all their pressure and 73% possession, Liverpool struggled to create real openings with Ben Mee and James Tarkowski outstanding in the centre of Burnley's defence.

When Liverpool did manage to find space for a shot, Burnley keeper Nick Pope was up to the test, getting down well to keep out efforts from Trent Alexander-Arnold and substitute Mohamed Salah.

But too often Liverpool drifted in poor crosses which were easily dealt with by Burnley's defence.

The Clarets, who made a poor start to the season, move up to 16th place on 19 points.

Burnley drew 1-1 at Anfield last season and Dyche was full of praise for his team.

"We were close last year, you get a feel of a performance and I said 'you are used to playing against these players, working without the ball, there's always a chance and you have to take it'.

"Barnsey sticks it in there, gets a toe, it's a penalty and he sticks it away very well," he said.

(Reporting by Simon Evans, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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