Burnley’s stubborn resistance left a dominant Liverpool frustrated on Philippe Coutinho’s return to the Reds’ starting line-up.
The Reds racked up 35 efforts at goal to the Clarets’ five, but could have lost had Joel Matip not cleared Ben Mee’s header off the line late on.
Burnley took the lead through Scott Arfield’s crisp finish on a rare foray forward in the 27th minute.
Mohamed Salah swivelled to dispatch a shot past goalkeeper Nick Pope three minutes later, but the seemingly inevitable second never arrived for the hosts.
Substitute Dominic Solanke’s instinctive side-foot volley against the bar was as close as the Reds came, as Burnley enjoyed another fruitful away day after an opening-day victory at Chelsea and a draw against Tottenham.
The suspension of Sadio Mane in the wake of his red card at Manchester City ushered in the return of Philippe Coutinho to Jurgen Klopp’s starting line-up and the Brazilian seemed eager to show his commitment to the cause after an unsettled summer, featuring several offers from Barcelona.
Afforded a deeper role behind the attacking trio of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Daniel Sturridge, he was as industrious as he was inventive.
Only centre-back Ragnar Klaven recorded more touches than Coutinho despite the attacker being brought off with 11 minutes to go.
Like his team though, his finishing was not good enough to convert pressure into a lead. Too often, Liverpool’s shots were too wayward and from too far out.
On an afternoon of deep frustration, Klopp may take solace from the performance of Salah, whose speed and direct running provided a contrasting threat to Coutinho’s clever angles and probing passes.
The Egyptian’s return of five goals in eight games since signing from Roma in the summer could be even more impressive however – too often he found goalkeeper Pope rather than the back of the net when well placed. The suspicion is that Mane would not be found similarly wanting.
More to follow.