Liverpool's high-flying attack not scoring enough - Seven deadly stats after 1-1 draw with Newcastle

Aditya Devavrat 22:43 01/10/2017
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Liverpool’s Achilles heel returned to haunt them as Jurgen Klopp’s side

Here are seven deadly stats from the game…

COUTINHO THE LONG-RANGE MASTER

On Saturday, it was Kevin de Bruyne’s long-range prowess that was the talk of the Premier League. Coutinho decided to remind everyone who’s boss.

MORE WOE AT THE BACK 

Liverpool’s defensive issues are well-documented, and they’re threatening to derail a title charge – if that hasn’t happened already. 

Newcastle’s goal ultimately owed a great deal to good fortune, as Joel Matip made a brilliant recovering tackle, only for the ball to deflect off Joselu’s shin and into the goal.

Matip should never have been in the position to have to make a recovering tackle in the first place, however. He and defensive colleague Dejan Lovren left a criminal amount of space between them for Joselu to waltz through and latch onto Jonjo Shelvey’s ball over the top. It was only Joselu’s hesitance when through on goal that allowed Matip a chance to recover – ultimately to no avail.

REDS LACK CUTTING EDGE

A theme that’s just as prevalent as Liverpool’s poor defending is their profligacy in front of goal. For all that they have a brilliant attack when in full flow, the Reds are remarkably generous to their opposition at not converting their chances. 

For all their dominance, their chances, and indeed, their shots, they had only two shots on target in the first hour – one of which was Coutinho’s goal. 

The defensive issues are a concern, no doubt, but Liverpool would also be winning more games if they were more efficient at converting their chances. 

STURRIDGE THE MOST GUILTY

Maybe it was with an eye on Daniel Sturridge’s record at St. James Park that Klopp gave the Englishman a start, or perhaps it was just a way to give Roberto Firmino a rest.

It was a calculated gamble, but it didn’t pay off. Sturridge alternates between brilliant and frustrating, and this time it was largely the latter.

MERINO COMING GOOD AT NEWCASTLE

Mikel Merino, on loan from Borussia Dortmund, struggled in his first few Premier League appearances, but now that he’s settled in, he’s become one of Rafa Benitez’s most trusted men.

It was another accomplished, combative performance from the 21-year-old Spaniard, who was a thorn in Liverpool’s side and helped execute his manager’s defensive gameplan perfectly.

RAFA TORMENTS HIS OLD TEAM

Benitez is still a much-loved figure among the Liverpool faithful, but perhaps that admiration will soon be tinged with exasperation.

The former Liverpool manager has a great relationship with the club’s fans, but he seems to delight in tripping the club up, as well.

KLOPP OUT?

Klopp has a great rapport with Liverpool’s players, fans, and hierarchy, but at some point the credit he’s earned is going to run out.

Benitez’s record at the same stage as Liverpool manager was only slightly better, but of course, by the end of his first season he’d won the Champions League. Klopp hasn’t achieved anything of note. His comparison against predecessor Brendan Rodgers also doesn’t make for the best reading.

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