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Pope: It's Nice To Help Out!

Clarets keeper stands firm to deny the champions as Clarets dent perfect record

11 July 2020

Nick Pope relived another magical Merseyside moment as he helped end the champions’ perfect home record to keep the Clarets flying high.

Pope made his full Premier League debut at Anfield in September, 2017 to announce his arrival on the big stage.

And another outstanding performance underlined his progress towards the top of the goalkeeping pile as Burnley hit back to draw 1-1 and stop Liverpool’s run of 24 successive home league wins.

“I was fortunate enough to come here on my full debut and get a point, so it was nice to come back and make some more good memories,” said Pope who limited the Reds to a one-goal half-time lead before Jay Rodriguez’s 69th-minute leveller for the Clarets.

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“The lads in front of me work so hard – it’s nice to help out now and again!

“A lot of the time they’re doing the work for me, so it was nice to get a bit of the action.

“When you go to the big teams you expect to be involved more, away from home at the champions who are full of confidence.

“But we’re not low on confidence ourselves. We came here as a group, maybe not expecting a point but definitely looking for something from the game.

“That’s the way it’s been since January for us. We really feel we are going into every game with a chance of getting something.”

That looked unlikely before the break as Liverpool peppered Pope’s goal in their bid to make it 18 straight home wins during a season that has finally seen them crowned Premier League champions.

Jurgen Klopp’s men are also chasing Manchester City’s record 100-point total and so never took their foot off the gas.

But only defender Andrew Robertson was able to beat Pope, who twice denied Mo Salah and then Sadio Mane with outstanding saves to keep the Clarets in the hunt.

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And with Burnley chasing their own target of a possible place in Europe they hit back with a superb second-half performance which rocked the champions.

Rodriguez equalised with his 11th goal of a tremendous season and only the width of the crossbar denied substitiute Johann Berg Gudmunddson a late winner as the Clarets extended their run to just one defeat in 13 league games.

“I felt we created chances, more so after they scored,” added Pope, who stayed one ahead of Liverpool keeper Alisson in the contest to keep the most clean sheets and win the league’s golden glove.

“We really took the game to them at the back end of the first half and then in the second half again.

“A few things nearly dropped our way and it didn’t quite and then one dropped for Jay and I didn’t have any doubt he was going to put that in. It was a top finish.

“It would have been great to nick a 2-1 against the champions. That would have been top-end, but it just goes to show how much we’ve grown.

“In the past we might have got an equaliser and sat on it and just defended our box.

“But now I think we’re more confident, better as a team and we think of ourselves better.

“We took that goal and pushed on again, not to let them have it their own way and to have our own impact on the game.”

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