Klopp faces Thiago poser

Thiago Alcantara this week found himself unwittingly at the centre of a debate prompted by former Liverpool man Dietmar Hamann.

Hamann questioned whether Thiago was the right signing for the Reds and suggested the Spaniard slows the game down too much.

While somewhat overlooking the fact the midfielder was bought to provide a different tactical dimension – and that, under Klopp, Liverpool have long since moved away from the full-blooded approach early of his tenure – it did shine a light on Thiago’s long-term influence on the team.

And that will be intensified by this showing.

The Spaniard, once fully integrated, will be expected to provide the guile to break down the kind of obdurate defence offered by Burnley.

There was little sign of that here. But how much owed to his position as the deepest of the three midfielders alongside Gini Wijnaldum and Xherdan Shaqiri?

At times it seemed odd Thiago was operating a fair distance away from the area in which he would be expected to make the key difference.

Having been absent for so long, it shouldn’t surprise that he’s not quite on the same wavelength as his new team-mates. A tactical tweak, though, could benefit everybody.

Matip balances Henderson negative

Picking out positives from a historically horrific evening may seem a futile gesture.

But there was one shimmering light amid the gloom for Liverpool in the shape of Joel Matip.

The centre-back returned after almost a month on the sidelines to partner Fabinho at the heart of defence, a timely return given Jordan Henderson had become the latest Reds player to pull up lame.

Matip’s performance demonstrated the value of having a dedicated centre-back in the starting line-up, composed on the ball, decisive in the challenge and completely unruffled by Burnley bruisers Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes.

Well, that is apart from on the stroke of half-time when the unseemly spat between Fabinho and Barnes saw Matip remonstrate with the visiting forward in characteristically flamboyant style.

Liverpool’s next three games suddenly look onerous, Sunday's FA Cup tie at Manchester United followed by Premier League trips to Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United.

How often Matip features will go some way to determining how much reward the Reds take from those fixtures.

Van Dijk and Gomez given warning

The day had started with reasons for encouragement for Liverpool supporters.

First there was the latest video update from Virgil van Dijk as he continues his recovery from injury.

And then, a few hours later, the club released images of Joe Gomez working hard on his own rehabilitation at Kirkby.

However, anyone expecting the duo to come racing to Liverpool’s rescue before the end of the season should consider the experience of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

The midfielder suffered his own knee problem during pre-season that sidelined him until just before Christmas.

And Oxlade-Chamberlain, after an initial lively cameo from the bench in the romp at Crystal Palace, has subsequently struggled to regain his verve.

Of course, he was by no means the only player to underperform here. And it was asking a lot for the him to transform a stuttering side.

But the energy, forward thrusts and strong shooting that encapsulate the England man's game just aren’t there yet.

Liverpool will hope it’s only a matter of time. Oxlade-Chamberlain, though, has demonstrated hitting the ground running on a return to action isn’t necessarily a given.