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Liverpool suffer 1st Premier League home loss in nearly 4 years

Madrid, Jan 21 (efe-epa).- Burnley stunned Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield on Thursday to prolong the Reds’ dismal stretch in the Premier League and hand the defending champions their first home loss in that competition in nearly four years.

Prior to Thursday, Liverpool had not lost at home in the English league since a defeat to Crystal Palace in April 2017. That unbeaten streak lasted for 68 games, with Jurgen Klopp’s men tallying 55 wins and 13 draws at Anfield over that stretch.

A goal from the penalty spot by Ashley Barnes with seven minutes remaining in regulation sealed the win for Burnley, whose only previous victory over Liverpool in England’s first division was a 2-0 triumph at Turf Moor at the start of the 2016-2017 season.

Prior to Thursday, the Clarets had only won once in 26 visits to Anfield across all competitions.

Burnley defeated the Reds in August 2016 despite having had just 19 percent of possession, which was the lowest total for a winning team in the Premier League since that statistic began to be kept in the 2003-2004 season.

A similar story played out at the Reds’ home ground on Thursday.

A quick glance at the statistics would suggest an easy win for the home side, as Liverpool had 72 percent of possession and led their opponents in goal attempts and corner kicks by 21-2 and 12-0 margins, respectively.

In a lackluster first half, the Reds only managed one real threat on a shot by Divock Origi that struck the woodwork in the 44th minute. The biggest excitement came when tempers flared after a fight for the ball involving Liverpool’s Fabinho and Burnley’s Barnes.

Early in the second half, Burnley goalie Nick Pope made a couple of key saves of shots by Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 51st minute and by second-half substitute Mohamed Salah at the one-hour mark.

The Clarets’ defense continued to hold up until the waning minutes and then the game took a sudden turn when Barnes was taken down in the area by Liverpool goalie Alisson.

The Burnley forward then converted the penalty chance to deliver the decisive blow in the 83rd minute.

Afterward, Klopp took blame for the loss.

“Tonight we didn’t win because we didn’t score in the situations. When I look at the game back now and when I think about it – in all the interviews I had enough time to think a little bit about it – how is it possible that you lose that game? But we lost it. That’s our and that means my fault,” he was quoted as saying on Liverpool’s website.

Winless in their last five Premier League matches, the Reds now stand in fourth place with 34 points, six fewer than leaders Manchester United. Burnley is in the 16th spot with 19 points. EFE

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