Daniel Sturridge – back to his full fitness after quite some time – was undoubtedly the bright spark in Liverpool’s dismal 1-1 draw with Burnley. In an extraordinary affair where the home team had 35 shots and 71% possession yet couldn’t break down a resilient Burnley side, Liverpool’s number 15 came closest to turning one point into all three for the Reds.
Liverpool could only turn 9 of those 35 shots on target, while having 12 corners compared to Burnley’s two, yet neither Sturridge nor his team mates could finish the tie off at a subdued Anfield, where the home crowd were expectant after a loss to Manchester City last weekend and a draw with Sevilla during the week.
All eyes were on Philippe Coutinho as the Brazilian made his first start of the season after a somewhat controversial summer following his wish to leave for Barcelona, yet it was Sturridge who shone through the middle of a dangerous front three, with Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino playing either side. Normally tasked with scoring goals, Sturridge often came deep to receive possession, holding the ball up expertly to draw countless fouls for his team.
He then aimed to find the back of the net for himself with some dangerous efforts, but his shooting boots seemingly weren’t on as his tame efforts failed to trouble Nick Pope in the Burnley goal. That certainly wasn’t the full story however, as Pope produced a Man of the Match display for the away side, frustrating both Liverpool players and fans with save after save, and even receiving a caution for time wasting as Burnley gratefully accepted the point in such a difficult fixture.
Sturridge once again almost turned provider with a delicate cross to Salah, whose header perhaps should have been laid back to Coutinho as opposed to drifting harmlessly over the bar. This intricate link up between the formidable front three was a common theme all afternoon, with Sturridge coming closest on the hour mark with a header that failed to trouble Pope followed by a thumping drive that the impressive goalkeeper palmed out for a corner.
The England forward then once again looked to set up a team mate as he clipped a clever ball through for James Milner, but the midfielder’s volley was well blocked by a stubborn Burnley defence. In the end, Sturridge’s efforts were in vain as his side trudged to a miserable 1-1 draw.
The only positive however was that the front man managed 90 minutes and looks as sharp as ever, and, although frequently mentioned by many, yet undeniably true, a fully fit Daniel Sturridge is equal to a brand-new signing due to his tenacity and ability to score goals. Jurgen Klopp will certainly hope the club can keep him fit as Liverpool now face four games on the road, followed by an extremely tough test at home to Manchester United.