08 November 2010

Home Cooking

Today's image of the day...



Granted, it doesn't explain much. It's solely an excuse to highlight (and re-watch) the utter brilliance that is Fernando Torres, who's now scored 44 league goals in 47 appearances at Anfield. An average of almost a goal per home league game despite being injured for long stretches over the last three seasons is beyond my powers of description.

Random notes:
• Goals at Anfield make up 73% of his strikes in the league (60) and 58% of his total goals for Liverpool (76).
• 27 (61%) were scored at the Kop End.
• 18 (41%) were game-winners.
• Eight were headers (18%), five were left-footed (11%), and 31 were right-footed (71%).
• Only three came from outside the box – two in his hat-trick against Boro and this season's strike against West Brom. His wonder-goal against Sunderland last season came from just inside the area. An apex predator, to say the absolute least.

Long may it continue.

In the comments are the full list of goals and a breakdown of the above statistics.

4 comments:

nate said...

2007-08: Chelsea 08.19.07, Derby 09.01.07 (x2), Spurs 10.07.07, Fulham 11.10.07, Bolton 12.02.07, Pompey 12.22.07 (x2), Wigan 01.02.08, Sunderland 02.02.08, Boro 02.23.08 (x3), West Ham 03.05.08 (x3), Newcastle 03.08.08, Reading 03.15.08, Everton 03.30.08, Blackburn 04.13.08, City 05.04.08
2008-09: Chelsea 02.01.09 (x2); Blackburn 04.11.09 (x2), Arsenal 04.21.09 (x2), Spurs 05.24.09
2009-10: Stoke 08.19.09, Villa 08.24.09, Hull 09.26.09 (x3), United 10.25.09, Wigan 12.16.09, Blackburn 02.08.10, Pompey 03.15.10 (x2), Sunderland 03.28.10 (x2)
2010-11: West Brom 08.29.10, Blackburn 10.24.10, Chelsea 11.07.10 (x2)

Winners: 1-0 Fulham 07-08, 2-1 Boro 07-08, 1-0 West Ham 07-08, 2-1 Reading 07-08, 1-0 Everton 07-08, 2-0 Blackburn 07-08, 1-0 City 07-08, 1-0 Chelsea 08-09, 1-0 Blackburn 08-09, 1-0 Stoke 09-10, 2-1 Hull 09-10, 1-0 United 09-10, 2-0 Wigan 09-10, 2-1 Blackburn 09-10, 1-0 Sunderland 09-10, 1-0 West Brom 08.29.10, 2-1 Blackburn 10.24.10, 1-0 Chelsea 11.07.10

Kop End: 3-0 Derby 09.01.07, 6-0 Derby 09.01.07, 2-2 Spurs 10.07.07, 1-0 Fulham 11.10.07, 2-0 Bolton 12.02.07, 3-1 Pompey 12.22.07, 4-1 Pompey 12.22.07, 1-0 Wigan 01.02.08, 2-0 Sunderland 02.02.08, 3-1 Boro 02.23.08, 2-0 West Ham 03.05.08, 3-0 West Ham 03.05.08, 1-0 Everton 03.30.08, 2-0 Blackburn 04.13.08, 1-0 City 05.04.08, 1-0 Chelsea 02.01.09, 2-0 Chelsea 02.01.09, 1-1 Arsenal 04.21.09, 3-3 Arsenal 04.21.09, 1-2 Villa 08.24.09, 3-1 Hull 09.26.09, 1-0 United 10.25.09, 2-0 Wigan 12.16.09, 1-0 Pompey 03.15.10, 1-0 Sunderland 03.28.10, 1-0 West Brom 08.29.10, 2-1 Blackburn 10.24.10

Headers: 2-2 Spurs 10.07.07, 2-0 West Ham 03.05.08, 2-1 Reading 03.15.08, 2-0 Blackburn 04.13.08, 1-0 Chelsea 02.01.09, 2-0 Blackburn 04.11.09, 1-1 Arsenal 04.21.09, 1-0 Spurs 05.24.09
Left foot: 3-0 Derby 09.01.07, 1-0 Fulham 11.10.07, 4-1 Pompey 12.22.07, 1-0 Hull 09.26.09, 3-1 Hull 09.26.09
Right foot: 1-0 Chelsea 08.19.07, 6-0 Derby 09.01.07, 2-0 Bolton 12.02.07, 3-1 Pompey 12.22.07, 1-0 Wigan 01.02.08, 2-0 Sunderland 02.02.08, 1-1 Boro 02.23.08, 2-1 Boro 02.23.08, 3-1 Boro 02.23.08, 1-0 West Ham 03.05.08, 3-0 West Ham 03.05.08, 2-0 Newcastle 03.08.08, 1-0 Everton 03.30.08, 1-0 City 05.04.08, 2-0 Chelsea 02.01.09, 1-0 Blackburn 04.11.09, 3-3 Arsenal 04.21.09, 1-0 Stoke 08.19.09, 1-2 Villa 08.24.09, 2-1 Hull 09.26.09, 1-0 United 10.25.09, 2-0 Wigan 12.16.09, 2-1 Blackburn 02.08.10, 1-0 Pompey 03.15.10, 4-0 Pompey 03.15.10, 1-0 Sunderland 03.28.10, 3-0 Sunderland 03.28.10, 1-0 West Brom 08.29.10, 2-1 Blackburn 10.24.10, 1-0 Chelsea 11.07.10, 2-0 Chelsea 11.07.10

TimC said...

Really good stuff here, Nate. The only complaint I would have is that it bumps the Lucas post down from the top of the blog!

The image is very telling. It shows Torres scoring most of his goals in the center of the area, near the goal, when in reality he is not the type to power past defenders or leap over two markers to head in. Since he does score so many in that space, how does he manage to do it? The conclusion must be that he is excellent at getting into space within the box and making smart runs between defenders (such as v Blackburn). Obviously, as fans of the club we see this each week and can recall countless smart runs that lead to short passes into the net and headed goals from seemingly unmarked positions.

However, he had not been scoring much until lately and the reason is is probably due to how Roy sent out the team. With everyone sitting deep, our slow counters were allowing defenders to clog Torres' favorite space and thus his goals were not coming. The image, to me, confirms what you and others have been saying here during the early struggles- that Liverpool must press and expand the playing area for players like Torres to succeed. Otherwise, how would he get the space needed to score with such regularity in that area?

It seems like Roy has caught on a bit and with Kuyt back the high-energy first-half performance against Chelsea will be easier to repeat going forward. Here's to hoping they've finally managed to turn a corner.

nate said...

As you say, the majority of his goals have come from clever runs and finding space for crosses/centers, especially in the last two and a half seasons.

But make no mistake, Torres can power – or more truthfully, sprint – past defenders. A lot of his goals in 07-08 came this way, most of the ones that came around the corners of the six-yard box: his first against Chelsea, third against West Ham, against City, and against Spurs are just a few examples off the top of my head. And we can't forget that winner against the Mancs last season, where he utterly embarrassed Rio Ferdinand, holding him off with strength and bursting past to beat Van der Sar.

But those are the goals he scores when in top form, when all the tricks are coming off. That hasn't happened this season until last Sunday. It's also no coincidence that the majority scored in that fashion came in his first season, before defenders knew his preferred move was to feint, drop his shoulder, and sprint past the defender.

I wish I wasn't completely worthless with Flash, too stupid to learn the programming, so I could make this interactive, explaining each spot with a summary of the goal: who it was scored against, style of strike, who assisted and how, etc., so you'll have to take my word for it or scour YouTube and Google. But Torres can score and has scored almost every type of goal.

TimC said...

That's true, and those goals are all examples of him using his power and pace. But what I should have said was that even in those scenarios, the defense was relatively spaced out- he did not encounter eight men behind the ball and when he did beat his marker he was in on goal and took his chance rather than having to deal with another line of defense. Too often this season he took possession of the ball and had multiple defenders between him and goal, an impossible situation for a goalscorer. I think it is on Roy to make the adjustments so Torres picks the ball up with space and can use his abilities to create shooting space.