14 December 2009

Liverpool after losing the lead

Yesterday's was the third game of the season where Liverpool lost 1-2 after leading 1-0.

How easily this team has gifted the opposition wins or draws after scoring first is beyond infuriating. Liverpool's lost the lead after going 1-0 up in a quarter of the games so far this season. That is not how Benitez teams play.

Losing a lead isn't necessarily specific to this team or this season, but in the last few years, Liverpool's at least been able to haul themselves back into it a few times. I miss those all-important late goals.

Surprisingly, Liverpool was best at not losing a lead in Benitez's first three seasons, especially seasons 2 and 3 – losses and draws came when Liverpool couldn't score, leads were protected. Relatedly, I still miss Sami Hyypia. Liverpool won the most games despite losing the lead in '07/08, with Torres and Gerrard getting most of those winners, but also lost the most points when going ahead.

Below are Liverpool's results in games under Benitez where they've gone in front only to see the opposition equalize, and how many "points" the team subsequently lost in each season because of it. Yes, I know that the FA and Carling Cup games didn't count for points; neither did most of the Champions League games. But it's the best way to make a clear comparison. And the comparison isn't good.

'09-10 (through 24 games): 1-2 Arse; 1-2 Fiorentina (CL); 2-2 City; 2-2 Brum; 1-1 Lyon (CL); 1-2 Lyon (CL); update: 6-1 Hull
1 win
, 3 draws, 3 losses
7 games, -15 points (-7 in the league)

'08-09: 4-4 Arse; 4-4 Chelsea (CL); 1-3 Chelsea (CL); 1-1 Wigan; 1-1 Everton; 1-2 Spurs; 1-1 Atletico (CL); 2-1 Crewe (CC)
1 win, 5 draws, 2 losses
8 games, -16 points (-9 in the league)

'07-08: 1-1 Chelsea (CL); 4-2 Arse (CL); 1-1 Arse; 1-2 Barnsley (FA); 2-2 Villa; 1-1 Luton (FA); 1-1 Wigan; 2-1 Derby; 4-1 Porto (CL); 2-1 Cardiff (CC); 1-1 Arse; 2-2 Spurs; 4-2 Reading (CC); 1-1 Chelsea; 2-1 Villa
6 wins, 8 draws, 1 loss
15 games, -19 points (-12 in the league)

'06-07: 2-1 Reading; 1-2 Newcastle; 2-3 Galatasaray (CL); 1-1 Haifa (CL); 2-1 Chelsea (Community Shield)
2 wins, 1 draw, 2 losses
5 games; -8 points (-3 in the league)

'05-06: 3-1 Villa; 2-1 West Ham; 1-1 Brum; 2-2 Brum
2 wins, 2 draws, 0 losses
4 games, -4 points (-4 in the league)

'04-05: 2-1 Pompey; 2-3 Chelsea (CC Final); 3-1 Fulham; 1-1 Pompey; 1-1 Villa; 2-1 Arsenal; 3-2 Palace; 2-2 Blackburn; 1-1 Spurs
4 wins, 4 draws, 1 loss
9 games, -11 points (-8 in the league)


bfriel0120 said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that the Reds do have 1 win from this season in which they let a 1-0 lead slip away--the 6-1 thrashing of Hull City, where Geovanni equalized after Torres put them up early.

Feels like ancient history given how this poor run of form is stretching into its 3rd month now...

nate said...

You're absolutely right, and I'm embarrassed. I relied on my memory for this season's stats, and for some reason, thought Liverpool were 2-0 before Geovanni scored.

Updated and fixed. Thanks much.