Liverpool moved into the Premier League’s top four on goal difference with a 3-0 away win over Burnley.
Chelsea’s win over Leicester City on Tuesday meant Liverpool knew before kick-off that a win would be enough to take them into the top four and the visitors to Turf Moor got what they needed.
Chris Woods should have given Burnley the lead after latching on to a long ball over the top, but the striker, who had scored eight goals in his previous nine games, lashed his strike wide of the near post.
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Firmino found the back of the net just before half time, with the Brazilian forward squeezing a low finish past Burnley goalkeeper Will Norris after a good overlap and cross by Andy Robertson down the left wing.
Liverpool gave themselves a two-goal cushion eight minutes into the second half as Nat Phillips got his head on the end of a Sadio Mane cross into the middle to score his first goal for the club.
James Tarkowski had a header cleared off the line by Phillips as Burnley looked for a way back into the game, but Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came off the bench to finish things off with a third goal as Liverpool moved on to 66 points, ahead of Leicester City by just four goals.
TALKING POINT - Salvation is now within touching distance for Liverpool
Make no mistake, this has not been a successful season for Liverpool. However, a top four finish and Champions League qualification would offer some sort of salvation. It would allow them to rebuild over the summer and return next season better and stronger. This result means Liverpool only need to beat Crystal Palace on the final day of the season, and hope Leicester City don’t run up a cricket score against Tottenham Hotspur, to keep their seat at the top table of European football.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Nat Phillips (Liverpool)
This was always going to be a physical test for Liverpool and Phillips more than handled it. The 24-year-old has improved with almost every match he has played this season, but this was his best performance to date for the Anfield club. Phillips repelled everything Burnley threw at the visitors and even scored the first goal of his career to effectively kill the contest in the second half.
Roberto Firmino of Liverpool with Burnley's Matthew Lowton during the Premier League match between Burnley and Liverpool at Turf Moor
Image credit: Getty Images
Burnley - Norris 5, Lowton 6, Tarkowski 6, Mee 6, Taylor 5, Brownhill 6, Westwood 5, Cork 4, Gudmundsson 4, McNeil 6, Wood 6. Subs - Vydra 4.
Liverpool - Alisson 6, Alexander-Arnold 6, Williams 7, Phillips 8, Robertson 7, Fabinho 6, Thiago 7, Wijnaldum 6, Salah 5, Firmino 7, Mane 7. Subs - Oxlade-Chamberlain 7, Milner 4, Tsmikas 2.
28’ Best chance so far! The ball over the top of the Liverpool defence saw Woods released through on goal, but the in-form Burnley striker somehow managed to shoot wide of the near post!
43’ GOAL! Burnley 0-1 Liverpool: A huge goal for Liverpool and it's Firmino who has found the back of the net! Robertson gets to the byline on the overlap, his low cross into the middle finds Firmino and the Brazilian finds the back of the net via the leg of Norris!
53’ GOAL! Burnley 0-2 Liverpool: Liverpool have a two-goal cushion! Mane is played to the byline, his cross into the six yard box is deflected and spins up on to the head of Phillips and the central defender does just enough to squeeze the finish past Norris and into the back of the net!
89’ GOAL! Burnley 0-3 Liverpool: The points are in the bag for Liverpool! Oxlade-Chamberlain shifts the ball on to his left foot inside the box and fires home a low finish at the near post! He beats the goalkeeper for pace! There was nothing Norris could have done there!
Nat Phillips’ goal against was the first he has ever scored in his senior career.
Burnley have now gone 10 league games without a win at Turf Moor, losing their last four consecutive home matches.
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