21 May 2013

Liverpool Goals Scored and Conceded 2012-13

Compare these totals to those from last season.

The headline stat is a simple one. Liverpool scored 24 more goals in the Premier League this season, and conceded just three more. In all competitions, Liverpool averaged 1.81 goals per game and a goal every 49.6 minutes. It was 1.55 goals per game and a goal every 58.1 minutes last season.

Liverpool scored more goals away from Anfield, which rarely happens, but also conceded many, many more goals away from Anfield. Only one side conceded fewer league goals at home than Liverpool: Manchester City. Seven sides conceded fewer league goals away from home.

Liverpool also were notably worse from set plays this season, both in scoring and conceding goals. Last year, 21.5% of Liverpool's goals scored and 24.1% of Liverpool's goals conceded came from free kicks and corners. This season, 19.4% of Liverpool's goals scored and 28.1% of Liverpool's goals conceded came from set plays (corners, free kicks, as well as one conceded from direct throw-in against – who else – Stoke).

That's worrisome. Liverpool conceded a negligibly smaller proportion of headed goals this season (21.9% compared to 22.2% last season), but also scored far fewer headed goals as well (14.3% compared to 18.9% last season). We've long been aware that Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool isn't exceptionally strong in the air (*TRANSFER WINDOW KLAXON*).

In the past, I've posted the next image along with the results comparison infographic – which is coming later in the week – but it seems more fitting here. The following is Liverpool's league results ordered by goals scored.

Liverpool kept clean sheets in 16 of the 38 league matches, but conceded one goal in just five, drawing three and winning two. They conceded two goals in 13 matches, and three goals in four.

Compare that to last season (scroll down), where Liverpool conceded once in 17 league matches, and conceded twice in just five. But kept only 12 clean sheets. Liverpool's regression in goals conceded this season has come from conceding a second, and sometimes a third, in far too many games. Especially in the five 2-2 draws, against City (twice), Arsenal, Everton, and Chelsea. Liverpool conceded the final goal, the goal that led to two points dropped, in four of those five games. Those eight points alone would have gone a long way in making up the gap between 5th-place Tottenham.

The increase in green also shows where Liverpool have improved. Liverpool won just one match by a 1-0 scoreline last season; they won three this season. Last season, this chart only went up to four goals. This season, Liverpool scored four in two league matches, five in three matches, and six in one match.

But Liverpool often needed that increase in goals, winning just four matches when scoring two or fewer goals, and just once away from home. It's now been 27 months since Liverpool won an away league match by a 1-0 scoreline, since beating Chelsea 1-0 at Stamford Bridge in February 2011.

Over the course of the season, Liverpool have proven they can consistently score goals. Now, they need to consistently stop conceding goals, and constantly win narrow games, especially against the sides ahead of them in the table.


drew said...

It's going to take some mental adjustment to not be in Europe at all next year.

Of course, I'd rather this and then CL in 2014–15 than another tame Europa League campaign. But it does feel like it's pretty much now or never to make the jump back into the top ranks—or at least, now or burn it down and start from scratch.

It's not as if the talent isn't there, and if BR buys like he did in January (and, knock on wood, certain players stay freakish-injury-free) then there's every chance of taking advantage of the incredible instability in the league.

Man City ought to sweep everything behind Pellegrini for a while. But United will take a step back, and Chelsea may yet struggle, and is anyone sold on Arsenal or Spurs really? The chance is there. And goddammit, I want Alex Ferguson alive still when Liverpool overhaul United once more on the title chart. We're owed that much.

Erich said...

Care to create a graphic depicting chances created per player this year ?

Even a pie chart would do.