Barnes, Burnley start bright but road woes continue at Liverpool

It was the same old story again for Burnley away from home in the Premier League as they lost 2-1 at Liverpool despite a brave defensive performance at Anfield on Sunday.

The Clarets led early through Ashley Barnes but although they had periods on the front foot they then withdrew and defended too deep, conceding somewhat inevitably in first-half injury time yet again.

Emre Can's second-half strike deserved to win a game of very few chances for either side and Burnley's long wait for a first away victory of the season goes on.

Next, they travel to Sunderland on Saturday to end a run of four successive matches on the road.

Positives

Burnley competed very well for most of the game, as they have for the majority of their matches this season, although they lacked creativity in the final third.

Liverpool were restricted to potshots, just like in the Clarets' 2-0 home success against the Reds at Turf Moor in August, but this time Can picked out the bottom corner to win the points for his side.

Negatives

Sean Dyche's team selection seemed to lack pace on paper and it proved to be the case on the pitch too, with the Clarets struggling to get up the field whenever they tried to counter-attack.

For the umpteenth time this season they conceded a sloppy goal in stoppage time and they simply have to learn to see halves out otherwise more defeats will follow.

They could still be dragged into the relegation battle despite a seven-point cushion, especially with some tough games to come.

Manager rating out of 10

6 -- Dyche's tactical approach looked to be working a treat in the first half, until a lapse in concentration and a lucky bounce allowed Georginio Wijnaldum to score and send his side went into the interval all square.

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)

GK Tom Heaton, 5 -- The skipper returned after missing last week's loss at Swansea through illness and he did not make a save until the 89th minute. Heaton was beaten from a long way out by Can for the winner, but he may well have been unsighted, as he was for Wijnaldum's goal.

DF Matt Lowton, 6 -- A great ball in behind the Liverpool defence from the right-back created Barnes' goal, but Lowton missed a massive chance in injury time that could have snatched a draw.

DF Michael Keane, 7 -- After a sloppy showing last time out, Keane was back to his usual serene and unruffled self at the heart of the Clarets back line.

DF Ben Mee, 6 -- While Mee was a touch unfortunate with the way the ball bounced off him for Wijnaldum's equaliser, more composure could perhaps have seen him make a clearance.

DF Stephen Ward, 6 -- The left-back put a fabulous cross on a plate for Barnes, who was offside but missed the chance anyway, and he was otherwise quiet.

MF George Boyd, 5 -- Boyd's lazy header contributed to Liverpool's equaliser and his trademark running accomplished nothing in an attacking sense, although it was vital to the defensive effort.

MF Joey Barton, 6 -- The veteran struggled to make an impact in a midfield two against Liverpool's trio and was also booked.

MF Jeff Hendrick, 6 -- It was tough for Hendrick too and the Republic of Ireland international was unable to close down Can for the Liverpool winner.

MF Scott Arfield, 4 -- A surprise selection over Brady, there was nothing from Arfield in attack to justify him being given a shirt, although he got through plenty of work, particularly in the first half.

FW Andre Gray, 5 -- The striker started the game looking sharp but he faded badly with a lack of service.

FW Ashley Barnes, 6 -- A good finish gave Barnes his 10th Premier League goal for the club, but he conceded far too many fouls, regularly halting his side's attacking momentum.

Substitutes

MF Robbie Brady, NR -- The Ireland international shanked one decent opening well wide and he has done little to justify his status as the club's most expensive ever player so far.

FW Sam Vokes, NR -- The big striker didn't get into the game at all but he arguably should have been given more time than 10 minutes to make an impact.

FW Daniel Agyei, NR -- The teenager made his debut for the club when introduced in the last minute of normal time, which seemed pointless.