After Fulham huffed and puffed without success in the first half of their clash with Burnley at Craven Cottage, Kompany’s charges took full advantage of the Cottagers’ profligacy, as Wilson Odobert offered Marco Silva’s men a lesson in goalscoring with a wonderful curler in the 47th minute.
The 19-year-old French protege then appropriately took another 19 minutes to turn provider for Sander Berge, whose driving run through the middle ended with a fierce low drive sailing past the futile reach of Bernd Leno to give Burnley just their third victory of the top-flight campaign.
Ending a winless run on the road stretching back to October 3, Burnley – whose recent away exploits also include a praiseworthy 1-1 draw away to Brighton & Hove Albion – have bumped Sheffield United down to the foot of the table, but the 19th-placed Clarets are still three points adrift of safety.
Handing out a couple of early Christmas gifts to the Turf Moor faithful, Burnley have now gleaned seven of their 11 Premier League points so far this season in December, a run which also includes their 5-0 annihilation of Sheffield United to end a record-breaking seven-game losing run at home.
However, Kompany’s men returned to losing ways on their own territory when Everton came to town on December 16, and five of the hosts’ last seven Premier League Boxing Day fixtures have ended in defeat ahead of the visit of the Toffees’ bitter Merseyside rivals.
The highly-anticipated Anfield encounter between Liverpool and Manchester United did not live up to the billing, but spectators were treated to an absorbing battle between the Reds and Arsenal on Saturday evening, where Gabriel Magalhaes scored the Gunners’ quickest-ever Premier League goal at Anfield with just four minutes on the
board.Nevertheless, the Reds fought back through the customary Mohamed Salah contribution and were left to rue contentious officiating and their own wastefulness, as Martin Odegaard escaped conceding a penalty for handling in the box before a five-on-one counter-attack ended with Trent Alexander-Arnold smacking the crossbar.
Klopp was particularly irate about the Odegaard decision, but a quick glance at the stats suggests that a point apiece was a fair result, as Liverpool leapfrogged Aston Villa back into second place in the table and ensured that Arsenal would not increase their slender advantage at the top.
With the Gunners not in action again until Thursday evening, Liverpool will rise to the summit with a three-point haul at Turf Moor – unless Aston Villa also beat Manchester United and enjoy a mammoth goal difference swing in their favour – and Saturday’s draw did at least see the Reds extend their unbeaten top-flight sequence to 11 games.
The visitors have also made the net bulge in each of their last 13 top-flight away contests and have prevailed in each of their last three meetings with Burnley, who are out to become the first-ever newly-promoted team to defeat Liverpool in a Premier League Boxing Day battle.