Liverpool rallied from a goal down to beat Burnley 3-1 at Turf Moor on Wednesday to keep pace with Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Jurgen Klopp started a rotated XI with a busy month of December ahead in the Premier League, leaving Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Fabinho on the bench, while Sadio Mane was not in the matchday squad.
A physical opening 25 minutes saw plenty of hard tackles and few chances on goal, with Joe Gomez stretchered off in the 23rd minute and replaced by Trent Alexander-Arnold after a Ben Mee challenge.
Ashley Barnes had the ball in the back of the net on 40 minutes with an outstanding first-time volley from a ball over the Liverpool defence, but the goal was ruled out for offside and the teams went to the dressing room locked in a goalless draw.
Burnley continued to ask questions of the Liverpool defence and found an opener soon after the restart when Jack Cork poked home from very close range after Allison had turned away to rapid-fire efforts from James Tarkowski and Ashley Barnes.
The hosts’ lead was short-lived, though, as James Milner’s low line drive from a Divock Origi pass skipped into the bottom right corner of Joe Hart’s goal to make it 1-1.
Chasing another goal, Klopp brought on Firmino and Salah and Liverpool took the lead soon after when the Brazil international tapped in a Virgil van Dijk assist following a well-worked set piece.
Allison started off the counter-attack that led to Liverpool’s third, as Salah lofted the ball to an onrushing Xherdan Shaqiri, who buried his first-time shot past Hart to seal the points.
Following the match, Klopp gave an update on the Gomez injury, saying: “It was his ankle. Joe is injured and probably not only a little bit. We have to see, we don’t know in the moment. We sent him home.”
The result puts second-place Liverpool on 39 points, two behind City, and is their best-ever start to a top-flight season in the club’s 126-year history.