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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 26 April, 2018

Can's the man as below-par Liverpool fight back to edge past Burnley

The Reds move within a point of third after winning ugly at Anfield.

Liverpool celebrating Can's winning goal.
Liverpool celebrating Can's winning goal.
Image: Martin Rickett

EMRE CAN STRUCK the winner as Liverpool beat Burnley 2-1 at Anfield to close the gap to third-placed Manchester City in the Premier League table ahead of their meeting next weekend.

With the rest of the top six in FA Cup action, Jurgen Klopp’s side came from behind to beat Burnley and consolidate fourth place, while closing to within a point of City and Tottenham.

Liverpool did not have it all their own way in the first half, though, with Ashley Barnes opening the scoring for the visitors as they eyed a maiden away win this term and a first seasonal double over the Reds since 1930.

But Georginio Wijnaldum equalised in first-half stoppage time and Can’s long-range stunner completed the turnaround just past the hour, clinching the points with Burnley’s attempts at a leveller of their own coming up short.

Klopp’s men took until the sixth game of the calendar year to taste a league victory in 2017, but they have now won three of their last four with a trip to City’s Etihad Stadium to come next Sunday.

It had looked as though the Reds’ woes against middling opposition had returned when Burnley deservedly led after seven minutes.

Matthew Lowton delivered a superb low cross from the right and Barnes, arriving behind Joel Matip at the back post, stretched to finish high past Simon Mignolet.

The visitors retained a threat on the break through Andre Gray and he shot across the face of goal from a narrow angle, but, having previously offered little in response, Liverpool drew level on the stroke of half-time.

Divock Origi drifted wide to the left and cut back inside to deliver a cross towards Wijnaldum, who saw his attempted flick blocked but then pounced on the rebound to wrong-foot Tom Heaton with a calm strike.

Barnes sent an effort dipping wide shortly after the restart, but Liverpool finally took control with just under half an hour remaining. Origi was again the provider as he squared for Can, 25 yards from goal, to step forward and drill beyond Heaton into the bottom-right corner.

The hosts were given an immediate reminder of Burnley’s menace as a ball dropped for Barnes in the area from a set-piece, but Ragnar Klavan dived across to block magnificently.

Ben Woodburn, on for Philippe Coutinho, flashed a cross just past the right-hand post and only a fine Heaton save kept Sadio Mane from adding a third, before Burnley’s best late chance fell to right-back Lowton, rather than a striker, and he blazed over.

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