Keane, Defour and Gray stand out as Burnley stun Liverpool
This was a complete turnaround as Burnley forgot their opening-day loss at Swansea to put Liverpool to the sword, winning 2-0 despite only having three shots. Sam Vokes and Andre Gray scored, while Tom Heaton was rarely troubled in goal. This result will go down as one of the finest in the club's history.
Burnley executed their game plan perfectly and, after Gray scored the second, the result was never in doubt. Defensively Sean Dyche's men were faultless, with none of the individual wobbles seen last weekend, when nerves perhaps played a part. Both strikers got on the scoresheet and Steven Defour had a very strong debut.
Picking out any negatives would be harsh but, at times, Burnley were perhaps too deep and, had Jurgen Klopp's side showed more craft in front of goal, the pressure may well have told. But realistically there was very little wrong with a performance that showed the Clarets belong in the Premier League.
Manager rating out of 10
8 -- Dyche stuck with his 4-4-2 but the addition of record signing Defour made a big difference to Burnley's shape both with and without the ball. After he went off, Dyche successfully reshuffled his midfield without weakening the team. The win justifies the faith he has in his system despite criticism over his lack of flexibility.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Tom Heaton, 7 -- Liverpool had over 80 percent of possession but the captain had little to do and was generally more assured than in last weekend's defeat. A fine tip over the bar from Dejan Lovren's effort and a good save from Roberto Firmino's long-range strike were his best moments.
DF Matt Lowton, 7 -- Arguably the weak link in the back line vs. Swansea, Lowton was much-improved and perhaps benefited from Liverpool not featuring any traditional wingers. He also had good cover in front of him from a tireless midfield.
DF Michael Keane, 9 -- He showed the form that has seen him linked with Leicester but, playing like this, it would take a monumental offer to tempt Burnley to sell. Keane was magnificent, not putting a foot wrong and leading a defence that held firm under pressure.
DF Ben Mee, 7 -- Technically the senior member of the centre-back partnership, Mee was as resilient as ever, even though he was outshone by Keane on the day.
DF Stephen Ward, 7 -- Marked his 31st birthday with a typically reliable performance and, as with Lowton, was a lot more settled against a team that consistently tried to play through the middle despite the obvious lack of space in that area.
MF Scott Arfield, 7 -- Put in a huge shift and protected his full-back well in the first half and, after the break, he shuffled across to replace Defour and performed just as well.
MF Dean Marney, 7 -- Marney's energy in the middle of the pitch was vital to Burnley's pressing game and he was bizarrely punished with a yellow card by referee Lee Mason for a clean tackle that won the ball. The partnership with Defour looks a very good fit, albeit from less than an hour of play.
MF Steven Defour, 8 -- Only lasted 56 minutes perhaps due to fitness issues but was outstanding showing in the middle of the park. The breakaway he led to create the second goal was top class and he looked a clear upgrade on predecessor David Jones.
MF George Boyd, 6 -- Another whose defensive contribution should not be underplayed in what was a complete team performance, but there was little on show from him in attack and fans want to see more from him in the final third. Vulnerable to being dropped unless his creativity improves.
FW Sam Vokes, 7 -- Opened the scoring with a stunning finish to score his first ever Premier League goal in what was an emotional moment after injury ruined his campaign two years ago. Might not have won as many headers as usual but his pressing from the front was a vital part of the win.
FW Andre Gray, 8 -- A goal and an assist gets his season up and running after a slightly disappointing showing last week. He showed great awareness to set up strike partner Vokes for the opener and caused Liverpool's defence problems all afternoon. His goal was a perfect example of Gray at his best, stretching the back line with his pace and movement before cutting inside to place a fine finish.
MF Johann Berg Gudmundsson, 7 -- Fitted into Dyche's famed "framework" easily and showed the high work rate that will soon make him a fans' favourite at Turf Moor; he should start at Chelsea next week.
FW Lukas Jutkiewicz, NR -- Helped to relieve pressure in the few minutes he was on the pitch.
MF Aiden O'Neill, NR -- The teenager replaced Gray in injury time to make his Premier League debut.