06 April 2017

Visualized: Liverpool 2-2 Bournemouth

Previous Match Infographics: Everton (h), Manchester City (h), Burnley (a), Arsenal (h), Leicester (a), Tottenham (h), Hull (a), Chelsea (h), Swansea (h), Manchester United (a), Sunderland (a), Manchester City (a), Stoke (h), Everton (a), Middlesbrough (a), West Ham (h), Bournemouth (a), Sunderland (h), Southampton (a), Watford (h), Crystal Palace (a), West Brom (h), United (h), Swansea (a), Hull (h), Chelsea (a), Leicester (h), Tottenham (a), Burnley (a), Arsenal (a)

All match data from Stats Zone and Who Scored.

(Nota Bene: Here's the formation diagram usually included in match reviews.)

Another Liverpool match against a Bottom 10 side, another regrettable performance. Another early goal conceded. Another goal conceded from a defensive error, then another conceded from an uncleared set-play. Another lead lost.

It must be a day which ends in "Y."

Nine defensive errors leading to goals, through 31 games. Which – surprise, surprise – is exactly the same total as at this time last season. But aside from Lucas against Leicester and Lovren at Crystal Palace, those are some very, very costly goals. And it gets worse when you include unnecessary penalties given away and subsequently scored: 2-1 at Bournemouth, 1-1 and 2-2 at Sunderland.

Liverpool at least responded, something we failed to see in 0-2 Burnley, 0-2 Hull, and 1-3 Leicester, but kind of saw in 2-3 Swansea and definitely saw in 2-1 Burnley. As against Burnley three weeks ago, Liverpool got the needed equalizer just before halftime and the lead on the hour mark, well-worked and well-taken goals starring Firmino and Coutinho, then Wijnaldum and Origi.

And this really almost ended just as 2-1 Burnley ended. Despite the absences of Mané, Lallana, and Henderson. With Sturridge and Matip only fit enough for the bench. With Coutinho needing to go off just after the hour due to illness. Woodburn replaced Coutinho against Burnley in the 61st minute, but Liverpool still pretty much all but shut up shop.

This time, Matip replaced Coutinho, a switch to a three-at-the-back system. Which did seem a bit odd with so much time left. But Sturridge wasn't fit enough for half an hour, neither was Grujic, and for whatever reason, Klopp didn't want to go Woodburn or Trent Alexander-Arnold again. Congesting the middle and defensive thirds was prioritized over any additional impetus on the counter-attack.

And it nearly worked. Despite increased opposition possession, Liverpool held Bournemouth without a shot from Matip's entrance until that 87th minute scramble. Of course, Liverpool didn't take any either.

But then, that 87th minute scramble. Long throw not fully cleared, blocked shot not fully cleared, blocked shot falling to Josh King, Ragnar Klavan twisted inside-out, goal. As we've painfully learned, it only takes one moment against Liverpool.

Ten "late" goals in total, of the 39 conceded through 31 matches. Three opposition consolations where Liverpool still won, Hull rubbing additional salt into the wound, three against Bournemouth in that horrific fixture, and three one-goal leads lost. It's not that bad of a record, but there are some very bad goals in there.

And it leads directly into...

15 points, although it's not entirely fair to expect Liverpool to hold onto the lead in every one of those matches. Still, most remain regrettable. And all except the West Ham game saw Liverpool's opponent score their equalizer on or after the 69th minute – which is when Agüero scored City's last month. No, not nice, stop that.

And 15 points gained from losing situations. It's the circle of life. Truly good teams should have more of the latter than the former.

So now it's yet another underwhelming performance against a side "that Liverpool should beat," although it's getting harder to write "that Liverpool should beat" in the face of overwhelming evidence otherwise.

Once again, two clear-cut Bournemouth chances, two shots on-target, two goals.

Teams who've scored two or more clear-cut chances against Liverpool: Bournemouth (a), Sunderland (a), Swansea (h), Hull (a), Leicester (a), Bournemouth (h).

Games where Liverpool's keeper has had a 0% save percentage: Burnley (a), Hull (h), WBA (h), Swansea (h), Burnley (h), Bournemouth (h).

I do not understand how Liverpool continue to be so much worse against the worst teams. Almost without fail.

And so now it's another regrettable, avoidable result. It was a chance to put more distance between the chasing pack that has games in hand, especially since City – two points back with a game in hand – and United – six points back with two games in hand – both drew as well. While Tottenham and Arsenal both won.

It's another vintage Liverpool performance, and not the good kind of vintage. And if Liverpool fail to make the Top 4 at the end of the season, it'll be these games and these results which cost them.

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