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Jota, Nunez strikes sends Liverpool to pinnacle of Premier League table on Boxing Day

Diogo Jota celebrates goal against Burnley
Liverpool earned a 2-0 win over Burnley, recording a seventh consecutive win in Premier League matches played on Boxing Day.

 

Liverpool moved to the top of the Premier League with a 2-0 win at Burnley on Boxing Day. Goals from Darwin Nunez and Diogo Jota scored in either half at Turf Moor, ensured Jurgen Klopp’s team moved two points clear of second-place Arsenal, having played a game more.

The Clarets came flying out but found themselves behind just six minutes into proceedings when Darwin Núñez latched onto Cody Gakpo’s lay-off with a pinpoint first-time finish to end the striker’s 12-game goal drought.

Liverpool continued to carve out opportunities, with an instinctive Mohamed Salah effort being tipped over by James Trafford before Cody Gakpo sent a wild attempt off-target, but Burnley offered a reminder of their own intent when Josh Brownhill sent his strike curling agonisingly wide.

Liverpool went on to dominate the ball but Gakpo’s frustrations in front of goal continued as Trafford rushed out to deny the Dutchman, while a venomous strike was ruled out due to a Núñez foul on Charlie Taylor.

The Dutchman still showed creative sparks with the ball when he laid a through pass for Salah that resulted in the winger smashing a shot that struck the crossbar. Despite the pressure, Burnley kept their deficit to one goal going into the break as Trafford denied Wataru Endō and Salah.

Shortly after the break, Harvey Elliott thought he had marked his second PL start of the season with a goal, but saw it ruled out after Salah was caught offside.

That moment roused the home supporters at Turf Moor and Jordan Beyer came close to raising the noise levels further when his attempt was deflected over by Núñez.

Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge then dragged his shot wide before Jürgen Klopp showed his discontent with the game’s momentum by making a triple change in the 67th minute, although there was extra concern when Wilson Odobert created a glorious chance that Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson headed wide from.

After surviving a scare when Jacob Bruun Larsen fired marginally wide, Liverpool finally got their breathing space with Diogo Jota marking his return by sending his strike through James Trafford’s legs.

That helped Liverpool secure a third consecutive away Premier League win to top the table ahead of Arsenal’s match against West Ham United on Thursday evening. They also inflicted the 11th defeat from Burnley’s last 12 top-flight matches at Turf Moor, which keeps Vincent Kompany’s side five points adrift of 17th-placed Everton.

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