Burnley 0 – 4 Liverpool (Turf Moor) – 25th April 2010
On this day nine years ago, Liverpool travelled to Lancashire after not having won in the last seven away games in the Premier League – four draws and three defeats – and just a measly four points taken out of a possible 21 in away games.
The Reds were still in seventh place as it stood and looked likely to be finishing the season in that same spot, a big disappointment and step down in comparison to the title charge of the previous campaign.
A 1-0 defeat courtesy of Diego Forlan away to Atletico Madrid in the semi-final of the Europa League needed to be pushed to the back of the players’ minds until the second leg the following Thursday.
Alas, it was important that the Reds claim three points at Turf Moor and for the first time in 2010, give the travelling fans something to cheer. Anything less than a win for Burnley would consign them to relegation after just one Premier League season as they stood 7 points behind West Ham with three matches to go.
Most of the early possession fell Liverpool’s way, yet only one decent chance was created through Babel’s misdirected strike from a good 20 yards. Liverpool frequently gave the ball away sloppily under no real pressure, leading to a scrappy, disjointed game which suited the Clarets’ style of play.
The first shot on target came after half an hour when the ball bounced into the path of Steven Gerrard inside 12 yards but the skipper’s half volley was comfortably saved by Jensen. Burnley were looking fired up for the occasion whenever they got the chance to venture forward, with Steven Fletcher heading over the bar from close-range.
The home pressure didn’t end there as just at the start of the second half Chelsea loanee Jack Cork found himself unmarked but fortunately made a mess of the header, placing it straight at Pepe Reina. Ryan Babel found himself unmarked at the other end but hit a tame side foot strike straight at Jensen.
Eventually, Liverpool would break the deadline and unsurprisingly it would come from Steven Gerrard. The captain played an intricate one-two with Benayoun then unleashed a right-footed effort from 20 yards which took a massive deflection off Leon Cort, leaving Jensen wrong-footed and reaching the corner of the net. They all count!
Less than ten minutes later Gerrard would double Liverpool’s lead with a superb strike that has become trademark for him. The captain latched on to Aquilani’s knockdown then let fly with a first time curler from 25 yards which flew into the left hand corner.
What made this goal extra significant is the fact it pushed Gerrard up to ninth place in Liverpool’s all-time goalscoring charts with 132 goals, taking him above Sam Raybould. Nine years later, Gerrard sits in fifth place on that list with 186 goals.
Nugent and Fletcher would test Reina in the minutes that followed but the Spaniard was determined to preserve the clean sheet. Then it would not be Reina that denied Fletcher but the post instead after his flying volley looked to be heading into the back off the net.
Burnley kept pressing but Liverpool’s overwhelming clinical quality showed and in the 74th minute, Aquilani’s pass opened up the Burnley defence and found Maxi Rodriguez who had the composure to fire across Jensen into the far corner to make it 3-0.
And in added time with the game already essentially wrapped up, Ryan Babel rubbed salt in the wound by beating the offside trap and sealing the victory as well as Burnley’s relegation.