Liverpool 4

Roberto Firmino 19, 67, Sadio Mane 29, 90+3

Burnley 2

Ashley Westwood 6, Johann Berg Gudmundsson 90+1

COLLECTING points in the Premier League is hard enough without gifting your opposition goals.

Burnley had stunned Anfield with an Ashley Westwood opener, even if his goalscoring corner could have been chalked off for a foul on Allison, but the visitors allowed Liverpool to turn the game on its head with some shoot yourself in the foot defending.

Sean Dyche had spoken in the build up to the game about his side needing to be at their best to return from Merseyside with a result.

But the two goals Liverpool scored in the first half will have frustrated the Clarets boss no end.

As a former defender you can bet your bottom dollar he would have put his foot through the ball in Jeff Hendrick’s position prior to Liverpool’s second. While Tom Heaton, who has excelled in recent weeks, will be disappointed not to cut out the cross for Roberto Firmino’s equaliser.

The Clarets keeper, hopeful of an England recall this week, will also want to forget Liverpool’s third. His scuffed clearance paving the way for Mo Salah to charge forward with Firmino again in the right place at the right time to put the game to bed.

Burnley huffed and puffed in an improved second half showing. Dwight McNeil showed flashes on the left, but things didn’t really click for Chris Wood or Ashley Barnes up front.

In the end Liverpool, without producing a great deal themselves, were able to comfortably see out the result which moves them to within a point of the summit.

For Burnley, defeat leaves them two points clear of the bottom three after a series of Saturday results went against them.

The visit of Leicester City to Turf Moor on Saturday is a chance for the Clarets to re-establish some momentum.

They will need it ahead of the final eight games as they bid to keep their heads above water.

It had all started so well for Dyche’s side on Sunday afternoon when they opened the scoring with their first foray forward.

Joel Matip needlessly conceded a corner under no pressure and from the set piece Westwood curled the ball into the far corner. Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson was furious that he didn’t get a free kick for a challenge by James Tarkowski and was booked for his protests. More often than not in that situation the keeper gets the benefit of the doubt but Burnley weren’t about to question their luck.

The perceived injustice sparked a response from the Reds and the crowd. Roberto Firmino was played in by Salah, who was given far too much time and space, but Tarwkoski did well to block his shot over the bar.

The Red wave kept coming. The Clarets were doing their best to close any gaps but the home side’s movement was causing problems and from a give and go between Salah and Sadio Mane they levelled. The Egyptian’s cross squirmed past Tom Heaton, who should have done better, and Tarkowski at the near post and Firmino was on hand to tap home from a yard.

Burnley were struggling to get a foothold in the game and Liverpool were in front on the half hour.

Again it was poor defending from the Clarets. Jeff Hendrick controlled the ball on the corner of his own box and attempted to tee it up for Phil Bardsley to clear. Adam Lallana slid in with a challenge and it took a great tackle by Charlie Taylor to deny Salah but the ball fell to Mane who curled into the far corner.

For all the talent on show it was defensive deficiencies that allowed Liverpool to establish control.

It was the same again for Liverpool’s third. Heaton’s scuffed clearance allowed Salah to surge forward and Taylor, for the second time in the match, did brilliantly to get back and deny the Egyptian but could only watch on as the ball fell to Firmino to stroke home.

Burnley sent on Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Peter Crouch, the latter receiving a warm reception at his former home, but it was Liverpool who were the more likely.

Mane hit the bar with a sliding effort eight minutes from time before Heaton saved well from Salah.

As the game ticked into stoppage time Gudmundsson reduced the arrears with a close range finish but Liverpool went straight up the other end to seal the points when Mane strolled through a gaping defence to round Heaton and slot home.

Clarets XI: Heaton, Bardsley, Tarkowski, Mee, Taylor; Hendrick (Gudmundsson 79), Westwood, Cork, McNeil; Wood (Crouch 79), Barnes (Vydra 86). Subs not used: Hart, Lowton, Gibson, Brady

Liverpool: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold (Sturridge 86), Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson, Fabinho (Henderson 69), Wijnaldum, Lallana (Keita 77), Mane, Salah Firmino. Subs not used: Mignolet, Lovren, Keita, Shaqiri, Origi.