The Warm Down: Liverpool lack clinical edge again
Trent Alexander-Arnold holds off Anthony Martial  during the Premier League match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on January 17 2021 in Liverpool, England (Photo by Getty Images)

Liverpool's performance against Manchester United on Sunday evening proved that the champions are still missing their clinical edge in front of goal, with now only scoring once in their last four Premier League games, going three games without scoring in the league.

This is something Liverpool have suffered from in recent weeks being held to a goalless draw away at Newcastle and now at home against United with a 1-0 away defeat to Southampton in between.

Two big late saves from goalkeeper Alisson saved the champions from falling to back to back defeats in the league. United full-back Luke Shaw found Bruno Fernandes in the box six yards out but his effort was saved by Alisson with his foot from close range. The final save and the best of the game was again from the Liverpool keeper who denied Paul Pogba in the closing minutes with what would have been the match-winning goal.

Liverpool now move onto their next Premier League game at home against Burnley on Thursday. They will be looking to get back to winning ways and to get their main players scoring again. Burnley will provide tough opposition as they will come to Anfield looking to defend. The question is can Liverpool break down the stubborn Burnley defence?

Last season Burney were the only team to go away from Anfield with a point with the game ending 1-1. Liverpool can not afford to slip up again to Burnley if they want to continue their hopes of retaining the Premier League.

Klopp stumbles across his new centre back pairing?

Jurgen Klopp was forced into a big decision ahead of the clash with rivals Manchester United. With both his first-choice centre backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez out with long term injuries, and his third choice Joel Matip unable to recover in time from a muscle injury,  he had the big decision of who to play at centre back alongside Fabinho, who had dropped into defence from midfield due to the injury crisis at centre back. 

The decision Klopp had to make, was would he stick with the pairing of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, which he went for in Liverpool's 1-0 away loss to Southampton, or would he go for someone with less experience either Rhys Williams or Nathaniel Phillips. He chose to go with Henderson and Fabinho a decision which proved to be the right one. 

The pairing had an excellent game at the back limiting United to very little chances and winning a lot of the aerial duels against Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani. On the occasions United were able to create an opportunity Fernandes looked to have a clear effort on goal but Fabinho was there at the last second to block the shot.

Thiago Alcantara's Anfield debut

Thiago made his Anfield debut against United in midfield and had a great individual performance controlling the midfield, providing key passes and was unlucky not to grab a goal himself forcing David de Gea into a good save from distance.

"Without winning the game, we are never satisfied," he reflected. "We had a superb first half but the second was 50-50. We are happy with our performance in some parts of the game, but we have to do better to be at the top of the league.

"We are privileged to play football and to continue with our work, our love and that is playing football here. We have to defend the desire of people to be here. We have to play for the fans as its a hard moment for all of us but without the fans being here everything is different."

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