Sports

Liverpool’s epic home streak has come to an end

The streak is over.

For the first time in 1,369 days — nearly four years — Liverpool has lost a home match in the Premier League.

The 1-0 loss Thursday, at the hands of relegation-threatened Burnley, comes amid a rotten run of form in which the reigning champions have gone goalless in four straight league games.

Manager Jurgen Klopp — perhaps with an eye on Sunday’s FA Cup fixture vs. Manchester United — began the match with starting forwards Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino on the bench. The club was also missing captain Jordan Henderson due to a muscle strain, and has been without center-backs Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez for most of the season due to knee injuries.

Liverpool outshot Burnley 27-6 and spent much of the game near their opponents’ goal, but struggled to find another clear-cut opportunity against the Clarets’ low block after Divock Origi rattled the crossbar in the first half.

With the game knotted at 0-0 late in the second half, Burnley forward Ashley Barnes was caught inside the box by lunging Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson, enough to convince the referee of a penalty which Barnes dutifully converted in the 83rd minute.

The loss was Liverpool’s first at Anfield since April 23, 2017, when the club fell 2-1 to Crystal Palace. However, the defeat has ramifications far past the record books.

Liverpool now sits six points adrift of first-place United with half of the season complete, with 2018-19 champs Manchester City four points ahead and also possessing a game in hand.

The loss makes a repeat of their elusive first Premier League title that much harder.

With Burnley’s win, Chelsea’s 86-game home unbeaten streak from 2004-08 looks safe for the foreseeable future. Liverpool’s streak ended today at 68 games.

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