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Three Points: Raheem Sterling the hero as Liverpool edge Burnley

Raheem Sterling's second-half strike ensured Liverpool managed their first league victory in four matches despite turning in a poor performance at struggling Burnley.

BURNLEY, England -- Raheem Sterling's second-half goal was the difference as Liverpool picked up a valuable 1-0 away win at Burnley. Here are three quick points from their Boxing Day clash at Turf Moor:

1. Sharp Sterling helps Liverpool win ugly

Brendan Rodgers is a proponent of the beautiful game, but there can be little doubt that his side won ugly at Turf Moor. Liverpool were nowhere near as fast or as fluent as they had been in possession against Arsenal on Sunday, let alone as potent...

 By David Usher

Player Ratings: Raheem Sterling's winner helps Liverpool edge Burnley

Raheem Sterling's second-half strike ensured Liverpool managed their first league victory in four matches despite turning in a poor performance at struggling Burnley.

Raheem Sterling's second-half strike gave Liverpool a hard-fought victory over a Burnley side who gave them all they could handle at Turf Moor.

Liverpool were all over the place in the opening half as the Clarets dominated and created numerous chances they were unable to take. The home side was made to pay a heavy price for its wastefulness when Sterling raced clear after the break to put Liverpool ahead. It was a rare moment of attacking quality from the Merseysiders, who were unrecognisable from...

 By Steven Kelly

Liverpool Report Card: A summary of the Reds' Premier League season

The ESPN FC discuss Liverpool's recent upturn in form following victory over Bournemouth and a spirited draw vs. Arsenal.

With the Premier League season edging toward its halfway point, who has starred for Liverpool and will things improve following a mixed start to the campaign? Here's a look at how Brendan Rodgers' men have fared so far.

Grade: D

Your Season So Far -- In A Sentence

A hangover from last season's title tilt was always to be expected, but this has been a painfully extended case of the shakes.


The early dismantling of Tottenham showed a lot of promise, but it has all been pretty much downhill...

 By Nick Miller

Brendan Rodgers' management of Mario Balotelli has backfired

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers previews the Premier League match at Burnley on Boxing Day, when Reds forward Mario Balotelli is set to return from suspension.

"There is no question over his talent -- I have played with him and I know how good he is and how good he can be. It is the job of the Liverpool coach to manage him in the right way. He needs to be loved, he needs direction, but most importantly he needs to know that the coach believes in him" -- Andrea Pirlo on Mario Balotelli

Mario Balotelli spent Boxing Day afternoon on the bench at Turf Moor, as his team huffed, puffed and scuffled their way to a 1-0 win over Burnley. And, according to his manager...

 By Alex Shaw

Premier League Report Cards: How has your team fared so far this season?

The ESPN FC crew give their Premier League week 17 team of the weekend, which includes three Manchester City players and Queens Park Rangers hat-trick hero, Charlie Austin.

As we approach the midway point in the 2014-15 Premier League season, it's time to have a look back at the campaign so far. We asked our ESPN FC bloggers to tackle seven questions. Who's your side's unlikely hero, and who has work to do?

Premier League Report Card

1. Grade

2. Your Season So Far -- In A Sentence

3. Highlight

4. Lowpoint

5. Surprise Star

6. Must Do Better

7. Great Expectations

Each team's grade for the season so far is below. Click on the team name for a comprehensive summary.

Club-by-club guide


Hull City


Crystal Palace


West Brom


Stoke City

 By Michael Cox

Milner and Sterling offer differing options as centre-forwards

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson explains when to make changes to your squad ahead of a busy week in the Premier League which includes Boxing Day and Sunday fixtures.

On one hand, last weekend was a good one for Premier League's traditional number nines. Simple, old-fashioned penalty box players such as Andy Carroll scored for West Ham, while Olivier Giroud thumped in Arsenal's second at Liverpool and QPR's Charlie Austin bagged a hat trick.

Elsewhere, something interesting was happening. Two major sides -- Manchester City and Liverpool -- started a wide midfielder upfront. City manager Manuel Pellegrini was without any of his three established forwards, so was...