5 talking points as ruthless Jota makes his mark in Liverpool win over Burnley

Liverpool eased to a 2-0 win over Burnley to record their second success of the season as Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane both scored as fans returned to Anfield for the first time in 18 months

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In pictures: Liverpool v Burnley

Liverpool gave their supporters the perfect welcome home present in the form of three points at Anfield.

The Reds played a Premier League game in front of a packed home stadium for the first time in 18 months as Burnley became their second victims of the season.

The Clarets had avoided defeat in their last two trips to Anfield – battling to a draw before securing a surprise win last term.

But Diogo Jota’s first-half strike set Liverpool on their way as they made it two wins from two.

Burnley started sharply and saw a Dwight McNeil effort smack the woodwork, but went in 1-0 down at half-time.

Ashley Barnes saw a goal chalked off for offside before the Sadio Mane sealed the contest for the Reds.

Here are five talking points from Anfield.

Diogo Jota headed home the game’s opener

1. Job done

This was not the sort of performance or result that makes the rest of the league stand up and take note.

Nevertheless it was the kind of display that, for the most part, hardly forced Liverpool to get out of second gear, barring the odd defensive lapse.

Burnley started brightly and saw the offside flag deny them a second-half equaliser.

1-0 is always a dangerous lead, but even then the Reds were dominant and Mane’s strike allowed them the breathing room to relax.

For much of their title winning season Liverpool did enough to win games, no more than that.

This was another example of the Merseysiders picking up three points with minimal fuss.

Sadio Mane doubled Liverpool’s lead

2. Changing of the guard?

He scored their first away goal of the season seven days ago and Jota has now bagged Liverpool’s first Anfield goal of the campaign.

The Portuguese star might already be a guaranteed starter for the Reds had injury not disrupted his first season.

Doubts continue over Roberto Firmino, whose goals have dried up in recent times, and calls for Jota to usurp him are gathering.

The former Wolves man showed the instincts of striker in his prime when he came from behind Ben Mee to nod home the opener.

Firmino watched on from the bench, which could be a spot he occupies more often if Jota is able to enjoy a year without disruption.

The Brazilian appeared late in the game, replacing the goalscorer, but Jota continues to stake his case as Liverpool’s main man in attack.

Anfield was at full capacity for the first time since Covid first struck

3. Fans return

It has been a long time since 50,000 fans on Merseyside bellowed out You’ll Never Walk Alone on a matchday. Whoever you support, you have to admit, it’s a sound we’ve missed.

Anfield was packed for the first time in a year and a half, with their influence immediately evident.

Whether it was them jeering Nick Pope for taking an extra 10 seconds over a goal kick or roaring on a tackle in the middle of the park.

Those little advantages that come with playing at home were, for the most part, nonexistent last term.

All of a sudden the comforts and benefits that come with hosting a Premier League game look set to return.

Harvey Elliott started a Liverpool league game for the first time

4. Elliott takes his bow

The teenager started a league game for the first time in Red on Saturday afternoon.

Elliott has had to be patient at Anfield and opted to head out on loan last term – a move that looks to have been hugely beneificial.

His pre-season involvement suggested minutes were going to come his way and he didn’t have to wait long.

Klopp threw Elliott in from the start and the 18-year-old never looked out of place with only the offside flag denying him an assist.

Based on this showing the former Fulham man may well be set for regular minutes at Anfield in the coming months.

5. 1 to 11

Well this is something you don’t see everyday. In fact, it is the first time we’ve seen it since 1998.

Back then Charlton named a starting XI with players whose squad numbers were 1 to 11.

Burnley repeated the feat at Anfield, almost as if they’d handed out their shirt numbers according to the line-up.

Their full-backs wore 2 and 3 with the two centre-halves wearing 5 and 6.

Wingers wore 7 and 11, central midfielders 4 and 8 leaving two strikers to don 9 and 10.

Mark this in your diary as a unique day – this doesn’t happen often – unless Burnley to do so again that is.

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