A statistical look at Liverpool’s attack on red
After an injury ravaged by a one-season disaster – which Liverpool still managed to finish third in the league – pundits and player avatar Twitter questioned whether Jurgen Klopp’s side were still good enough to compete . If you’ve been in the TLO sphere for more than two minutes, you’ll know that we all felt the drop in attacking last season was a combination of 8th and 9th pick players in central defense, a mixed midfielder. match-to-match matchup, and an insane matchlist that left no downtime for players. Jurgen Klopp said essentially the same thing yesterday when asked why his team have scored so much better this season.
âWe lacked stability,â said the Liverpool manager. “And we didn’t have stability, not because we didn’t have a center-back for a while and we had to find solutions for that, the problem was that we were like at the beginning that we were shocked not to be able anymore. playing the football that we wanted to play because we didn’t have the stability that we now obviously have. Everyone knows exactly what they have to do. When you put the midfielders back in the last row, you put midfielders in the line that don’t usually play there or are protected by Hendo or Fab, and now they’re playing double-six. That’s the problem and all of a sudden you lose your rhythm. That’s what happened to us last year, we had to find a solution and thank goodness we found the solution early enough to qualify for the Champions League.
After a much more regular offseason, with complete rest for everyone, even though they have played in international tournaments this summer, Liverpool have regained their rhythm, and have been on fire on the attacking side. In 13 Premier League games, Liverpool have scored 39 goals, good for an average of 3 goals per game. That’s the most goals ever under Klopp at this stage for Liverpoolâ¦ by seven.
Mohamed Salah’s scoring exploits have been well documented so far this year, leading the league with 11 goals, including some sensational solo efforts. What shouldn’t get lost in the mix is ââthat Sadio ManÃ© and Diogo Jota are currently tied for 3rd in the league in goals scored with 7 apiece. Add 4 more from Roberto Firmino, and the attacking group has 29 league goals.
It’s an impressive output, of course, and it’s even more impressive when you start digging into the stats. It’s no surprise that Liverpool are generating shooting chances at a ridiculous rate. The four Liverpool forwards do a lot of shots, with Mohamed Salah in the lead with 3.92 shots / 90 by FBRef, followed by ManÃ© (3.54), Jota (3.35) and finally Firmino as the only one to take less 3 shots per game … barely (2.91). Although they take a high volume of shots, they also hit the target at a very high rate. Mo gets 1.69 shots on target by 90, followed by Firmino (1.46), Jota (1.4) and ManÃ© (1.23) Only Burnley’s Maxwell Cornet (1.61 shots on target by 90) compares to players Liverpool’s offensive with its ability, with the most of the other top scorers in the league around 1 or less.
That’s a lot of numbers to say that Liverpool players shoot a lot, but they put a high percentage of those shots on target. It should come as no surprise then that Liverpool players generate most of their shots from inside the box rather than hitting the pot at any goal.
Mohamed Salah was the most adventurous of his compatriots where his pictures come from. As seen in his shooting card below (from Understat), Mo is still hitting a decent number of shots from outside the box this season, and in fact, he has the greatest distance to goal on his shots. of all Liverpool attacking players (15.1 yards per FBRef).
On the other end of the spectrum, Diogo Jota hits up close almost all the time. He is on average only 11.1 meters from the goal on his shots, with a very good concentration in the center of the surface.
ManÃ© also did a good job getting to the middle of the box before shooting. Despite a few pot shots from a distance, he’s still only 12.3 yards from goal per shot on average.
And finally, Roberto Firmino, who hasn’t had so much playing time due to injuries and regular rotation, but continues to shoot from fairly high value areas in the box. He is on average 12.4 meters from the goal per shot.
The other players in and around the top of the Premier League goal stats all have a much higher distribution of where their shots are coming from, which is probably why they have fewer shots on target (and fewer goals).
It will be fun to see if Liverpool can threaten a club’s single-season scoring record set by Manchester City in 2017/18 with 106 goals. It was a clip of 2.79 goals per game. While there is a good chance that Liverpool will return to scoring at more earthy rates as the season progresses, the shooting selection from attacking players certainly shows that Liverpool are creating and putting together a lot of great value chances.