Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool roaring towards a top four finish: Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool 2-0 Burnley

By Carl Markham

Brendan Rodgers is confident Liverpool can book a Champions League spot with a top four finish after their good league form continued with victory over Burnley.

A stunning strike from stand-in skipper Jordan Henderson and a Daniel Sturridge header did the trick for Reds who are in fifth, just two points behind fourth placed Manchester United.

"It was a good performance," said Ulsterman Rodgers.

"These can be difficult games because you're expected to win.

"Burnley are a tough team to beat, but we were very, very good in our defensive organisation and we looked very exciting going forward.

"Daniel Sturridge started and he contributed, he got his goal. Jordan Henderson scored with a great strike.

"It was great - the strike for his goal and the feed into Daniel Sturridge for the second.

"He is up there with the top assist makers in the league, he has very good technique. He is developing well as a player, he still has work to go but he knows that. It's great to see.

"It's all about the levels of our performances - we are focused, we are playing the game at our level and we're entering a stage of the season which we can enjoy. We just have to maintain this momentum."

Stand-in captain Henderson led from the front with his second goal in successive matches.

With third-placed Arsenal and Manchester United also winning, Rodgers' side could not afford anything less than three points and a straightforward 2-0 victory over the Premier League strugglers was achieved with the minimum of fuss.

Henderson, in possession of the armband in the absence of Steven Gerrard, back in training this week after a hamstring injury, slotted home just before the half-hour and Sturridge's header just after the break sealed the result.

With Henderson, and the team, in this form the watching captain - who departs for Los Angeles Galaxy in the summer - must be wondering where he fits in.

Liverpool, the league's only unbeaten side since the turn of the year, have not been defeated in the last 12 league games - picking up 30 points from a possible 36 having won seven of the last eight with six clean sheets.

Rodgers' side are upwardly mobile and moved back into fifth place, which they had been ousted from by Southampton 24 hours earlier, remaining three points behind Arsenal and two behind United, who visit Anfield a fortnight on Sunday.

Burnley, on the other hand, have just one win in the last 12 league matches and stay second-bottom three points from safety.

Henderson, having also found the net in Sunday's win over Manchester City, rammed home from the edge of the area on the half hour to put Liverpool - who host Blackburn in the FA Cup on Sunday - in control.

It was the first time in his senior career the 24-year-old had scored in consecutive matches.

Six minutes into the second half the Clarets were exposed again, Henderson crossing to the far post for Sturridge to nod home.

Belfast Telegraph


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