Liverpool's optimism punctured by 2-0 loss at Burnley

Published On: August 20, 2016 11:00 PM NPT By: Associated Press

BURNLEY, Aug 20: Liverpool's defensive shortcomings were exposed in a 2-0 loss at promoted Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday, puncturing the optimism generated from the team's opening-weekend win at Arsenal.

Sam Vokes put Burnley ahead with a shot from the edge of the area in the second minute, having been set up by Andre Gray after Liverpool right back Nathaniel Clyne gave the ball away.

Gray turned scorer in the 37th when he finished off a length-of-the-field break by Burnley sparked by Daniel Sturridge getting dispossessed, which allowed new signing Steven Defour to break forward.

Inconsistency and defensive weakness were Liverpool's biggest problems last season under Juergen Klopp and the same trait has returned early in this campaign. Last weekend, Liverpool beat Arsenal 4-3, leaving some pundits to predict Klopp's side as potential title contenders.

"The season is still pretty young," Klopp said. "It doesn't look like we are 100 percent fine-tuned. But it's only the start of the season and I can see a lot of good things.

"The lesson here is don't give the ball away like we did twice today. We will work on it 100 percent."

Sturridge was back from injury to start up front but Liverpool missed the pace and energy of injured new signing Sadio Mane, one of the scorers against Arsenal.

Boosted by scoring an early goal, Burnley was happy to concede possession, defend stoutly and hitLiverpool on the counter-attack at Turf Moor. It was the home side's first win back in the Premier League, after losing 1-0 to Swansea on the opening weekend.

"The first goal came early and settled us down," Vokes said. "The crowd was bouncing. It was good to settle those nerves. Second half, we knew we had to dig in and defend for our lives. That's what we did."


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