Loss to Burnley baffles Reds boss Klopp

Burnley's Sam Vokes celebrates scoring their first goal against Liverpool. He had been without a Premier League goal in 27 appearances over the past seven years. Burnley won the match 2-0.
Burnley's Sam Vokes celebrates scoring their first goal against Liverpool. He had been without a Premier League goal in 27 appearances over the past seven years. Burnley won the match 2-0.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

LONDON • The afternoon began with the former Liverpool forward Christian Benteke announcing on social media that he had signed for Burnley, when in fact he had joined Crystal Palace.

It ended with the two forwards who did play for the newly promoted Premier League side punishing Benteke's former club in the most clinical way imaginable.

Sam Vokes, without a Premier League goal in 27 appearances over the past seven years, and Andre Gray, playing only his second game at this level, were each on the mark as Burnley recorded their first league victory - 2-0 - over Liverpool in 42 years on Saturday.

But it was the manner of the win that most surprised. Sean Dyche's side looked comfortable despite statistics that showed they had 19 per cent of possession.

  • £800m

  • Amount China Everbright, a state-backed financial giant, is reportedly prepared to pay to buy Liverpool.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted he was baffled by the result.

"How can I be happy with this?" he said. "When we gave away the first goal, they defended for their lives. We had absolutely no luck.

"Everybody needs to be more clinical. Burnley deserved to win with a very passionate performance."

Klopp was critical of his team's defensive efforts in the opening 4-3 victory at Arsenal and, after conceding a further two goals at Turf Moor, Liverpool have kept just two clean sheets in their last 13 league games.

"It was a difficult game for us. We passed the ball, lost the ball at the wrong moments," he said. "In a game like this, you win if you don't make mistakes at the wrong moment, but we did. We have to accept the result and carry on."

Burnley manager Dyche was dismissive of the statistic of possession and pointed out that, as his team proved emphatically against Liverpool, it often has little bearing on the result of a game.

"Possession doesn't win you games," he said. "That myth came out a few years ago and Leicester proved it was a myth last year.

"Liverpool had five or six men in midfield at all times and if I did that, I would have the ball for a long time. But that doesn't win you the game. I want to penetrate, create and take chances."

Away from the field, Liverpool's stock was high, after it became known that they are the target of an £800 million (S$1.4 billion) takeover bid backed by the Chinese government that has the potential to make them the richest club in the Premier League.

China Everbright, a state-backed financial giant, is spearheading the attempt to buy the Anfield club from Fenway Sports Group (FSG) but the bulk of the money is expected to come from China Investment Corporation, the country's main sovereign wealth fund, whose assets are put at about £620 billion.

But a senior Liverpool source told AFP that although the club was open to outside investment, FSG was not in talks and the club was not the subject of a bid. The US company bought Liverpool for around £300 million in 2010.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2016, with the headline 'Loss to Burnley baffles Reds boss Klopp'. Print Edition | Subscribe