28 May 2015

Liverpool Goals Scored and Conceded 2014-15

Here are similar images from 2011-12, 2012-13, and 2013-14.

And here's a quick comparison to Rodgers' two other seasons.

Hey, at least Liverpool are conceding less. Right? Nowhere near less enough to make up for the massive loss of goals – exactly half of last season's goals per game average – but it's something, I guess. Any port in a storm, etc.

This is news to no one, but Liverpool scored a hell of a lot less goals than usual.

1.28 goals per game is Liverpool's worst average in all competitions the last 20 years; the next closest was 1.37gpg in 2004-05. This season's 1.37 goals per game in the Premier League is the joint third-worst, behind 2011-12 (1.24) and 1999-00 (1.34).

This was a historically bad season in front of goal. Again, I doubt that's news to anyone. This is what happens when you lose Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge (especially Suarez), who scored 52 league goals by themselves in 2013-14, the same total that Liverpool put up in the league this season.

The two things that Liverpool were arguably best at last season – scoring early and scoring from set plays – completely deserted them this season.

Last season: 62 first half goals. This season: 28 first half goals.

Last season: 26 set play goals (with 11 penalties). This season: 13 set play goals (with seven penalties).

There's regression to the mean and there's "oh shit, we've driven straight off the cliff." This is what happens when you lose Luis Suarez (and Daniel Sturridge) and fail to replace him.

Some small signs of positivity? Liverpool scored more as the game went on, the highest total in the last 15 minutes, and 18 different players scored this season, which the most in a single season in quite some time. That's about it.

Despite the overall reduction in goals conceded, that 29% of the opposition's goals came inside the six-yard box is unforgivable. Liverpool may have conceded fewer, but the goals they conceded were mainly close range, clustered centrally within 12 yards from goal. Last season (the first time I started tracking location in-depth), it was 21.8% inside the six-yard box. Which was almost identical to the 20.9% that Liverpool scored in the six-yard box. Well, Liverpool were especially terrible in the six-yard box this season, with only 18.9% of their goals (14 in total) in that area.

Meanwhile, 16.2% of Liverpool's goals came from outside the box, again a decline from last season's 19.1%. And that's despite Liverpool taking more shots from outside the box (admittedly, league only) than any other Premier League side.

As said a few times this season, this was the first time since 2004-05 that Liverpool's top scorer in the league failed to hit double figures. Baros had nine that season (13 in all competitions, as did Gerrard and Luis Garcia), Gerrard had nine this season (13 in competitions). And those are the only times that's happened since World War II.

Long story short: Buy goals this summer. Buy lots of them, buy them now.

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