Liverpool beat Burnley 2-0 before full house at Anfield

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LIVERPOOL, England (AP) – Liverpool scored their first game in front of a large crowd at Anfield in almost 18 months by beating Burnley 2-0 on Saturday, with goals from Diogo Jota and Sadio Mane earning their side a second victory consecutive to open the season.

Jota, who scored the opening goal in Liverpool’s 3-0 win at Norwich last weekend, glanced at left-back cross Konstantinos Tsimikas in the 18th minute ahead of The Kop.

Mane hit home a powerful low shot from a center position of Trent Alexander-Arnold’s skillful pass in the 69th.

Since the last time there was a full house at Anfield – in March 2020 – Liverpool have won the league title for the first time in 30 years and ceded it to Manchester City.

So there was a sort of party atmosphere for what ended up being a routine win over Burnley, who picked up a shock win in the same game last season to end the 68-game unbeaten streak of Liverpool at Anfield in the league.

There was also time for remembrance, with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson laying a wreath in the center circle ahead of the kick-off in memory of Andrew Devine, who recently became the 97th person to die of the disaster from Hillsborough Stadium in 1989. There was a mosaic on The Kop displaying the numbers “97” as well as a minute’s silence.

A catwalk outside Anfield has been renamed in honor of Devine.

Burnley lined up a lineup with players wearing jerseys with team numbers 1-11, a rarity in modern football. Indeed, it was the first time this had happened in the Premier League since 1998, according to British broadcaster BT Sport.

Tsimikas is on the verge of losing his place in the squad, with Andrew Robertson returning to form after a minor ankle ligament injury. The Greek defender’s farewell gift was an assist from an accurate delivery into the penalty area, where Jota passed Burnley center-back Ben Mee and guided a low header past goalkeeper Nick Pope.

Mohamed Salah, who needed two goals to reach 100 in the Premier League after just four seasons, was denied a goal for a narrow offside midway through the first half, after which Mane regained a swing another pass from Alexander-Arnold.

Burnley was quite dangerous on the break and off set pieces – with a long free kick, James Tarkowski beat Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson in the air but headed right past the edge of the zone – but took been subjected to wave after wave of attacks from the home side in the second half.

Salah got a clear shot from near the line by Dwight McNeil and Mane had a weak effort saved by the feet of Pope, who couldn’t do much against the Senegalese striker’s powerful shot to carry the score at 2-0. He came at the end of a radical move from Liverpool, with a long ball ahead of Virgil van Dijk, who again played the full game on his return from injury, and some neat touches from young midfielder Harvey Elliott , who also completed 90 minutes.

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