25 May 2015

Visualized: Liverpool 1-6 Stoke

Previous Match Infographics: Crystal Palace (h), Chelsea (a), QPR (h), Hull City (a), West Brom (a), Newcastle (h), Blackburn [FA Cup] (a), Arsenal (a), Manchester United (h), Swansea (a), Burnley (h), Manchester City (h), Besiktas (a), Southampton (a), Besiktas (h), Tottenham (h), Everton (a), West Ham (h), Chelsea (a) [League Cup], Chelsea (h) [League Cup], Villa (a), Sunderland (a), Leicester (h), Swansea (h), Burnley (a), Arsenal (h), Manchester United (a), Basel (h), Sunderland (h), Leicester (a), Stoke (h), Ludogorets (a), Crystal Palace (a), Chelsea (h), Real Madrid (a), Newcastle (a), Hull (h), Real Madrid (h), QPR (a), West Brom (h), Basel (a), Everton (h), West Ham (a), Ludogorets (h), Aston Villa (h), Tottenham (a), Manchester City (a), Southampton (h)

As always, match data from Stats Zone, except shot location from Squawka and average player position from ESPN FC.

Good riddance, 2014-15.

You'll forgive me if I don't write a bunch of words you've already read to go along with this graphic. Liverpool can't defend, especially in a four at the back; Liverpool can't score no matter who's playing, etc. Liverpool took just two danger zone shots, Liverpool had three defensive errors lead to a goal for the first time this season. Liverpool don't know its best personnel, Liverpool don't know its best formation. Yadda yadda yadda. Yesterday saw all of Liverpool's recurring problems, writ large over all four walls and the ceiling in frantic permanent marker. Which seems a fitting final nail for the season. This graphic is here for thoroughness' sake and little more. Again, good riddance, 2014-15.

Also, you'll get a lot of other content from me over the next few weeks, both wrapping up the campaign and on Gerrard's career. As if that's any consolation.

This stupid season.


Marque Pierre Sondergaard said...

Sorry Nate. I can certainly understand your frustration and pain of having to write these words. But I for one was looking forward to your insights into why on earth this went so disastrously wrong.

But picking through a stinking turd, analysing each piece of decomposed food, well I can understand if you don't have the stomach for it.

Of course all of us are hurting, and we want answers. The answer people are screaming for is right now "sack Rodgers", but beyond that and in greater nuances I was looking forward to your always insightful analysis.

sas said...

Hope Nate doesn't mind if I do the analysis for this one.

Excluding the goals from Walters and Crouch, Stoke's other 4 goals all came about through their midfielders being allowed too much time and space in front of our box. Nate's excellent goal event graphics confirm this.

It becomes even clearer when you compare the locations of Liverpool's tackles and interceptions
with Stoke's; Stoke have roughly 4 successful tackles and 6 successful interceptions in that area. Liverpool have 2 successful tackles and 2 successful interceptions.

The reason they had so much space was that our defenders constantly backed off, lacking the confidence to make a challenge. Martin Skrtel doesn't even attempt a single challenge in a central area. Arnautovic and Diouf's direct running with the ball caused us far too many problems, Arnautovic especially troubling Can at right back.

There's every possibility that both Sakho and Lucas were short of match fitness, which only compounded issues - Lucas only managed 1 tackle and 1 interception in that area outside our box where you'd expect him to be most influential.

Rodgers' decision to try and outplay Stoke with continuous movement and nimble attacking players was thoroughly undone as well. Lambert's noticeable impact after coming on further proves that this wasn't the match to experiment with midfielders-as-strikers or false 9's; Stoke's defenders are too physical, and their use of two holding players congested the space we wanted to exploit with movement from Lallana and Coutinho.

Stoke's tackles and interceptions map also reveals a formation we've consistently struggled against under Rodgers - the 4-2-3-1 with two deep holding players. It undid us in his very first league game away to West Brom; it's consistently troubled us when used by Palace and occasionally Villa; and now we've been comprehensively undone by Stoke.

Marque Pierre Sondergaard said...

Thanks for your comment sas.

Anonymous said...

Nate - thanks for another great season of match analysis ... best LFC analysis on the net