Gomez stands tall as Reds move to within 2 of 64 – 5 key stats from Liverpool 2-1 Sheffield United

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Liverpool, while forced to work hard for their win over Sheffield United, continue to set remarkable records under the Anfield lights.

Jurgen Klopp‘s side were back on the winners’ board on Saturday evening after mounting a successful comeback over the Blades which proved to be another test of their character.

Roberto Firmino and Digo Jota were the ones to etch their name on the scoresheet to cancel out Sander Berge’s opener, which came in controversial circumstances from the penalty spot.

But not for the first time in 2020/21 were Liverpool required to bounce back and in doing so they restored normal order after going two Premier League games without a win.

And here are five of the best statistics which emerged from the Reds’ 2-1 win over the Blades.

 

Jota’s Feeling at Home

Liverpool's Diogo Jota celebrates scoring his side's second goal of the game with Trent Alexander-Arnold (second right) and Roberto Firmino (right) during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. (Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire/PA Images)

It’s been a bright start for the 23-year-old following on from his summer switch having shown the influential qualities required to push the club’s existing attacking trident.

While quiet in the early stages after being moved to the right-flank as part of a 4231 system, Jota grew into the game and netted what would be the all-important winner – with a header no less.

His aerial ability has not always been a key talking point but it is an invaluable string to have to his bow and it ensured that Liverpool not only secured all three points but was also his second goal in as many league appearances at Anfield.

Jota had joined an illustrious group by netting on his home debut against Arsenal and his second meant he became the first player to score in his first two league home appearances for the club since Sadio Mane in 2016, as per Opta.

If his trajectory is anything like the No. 10 then Liverpool have another gem on their hands.

 

Setbacks for Major Comebacks

Diogo Jota sealed victory for Liverpool (Stu Forster/PA)

The way in which the Reds found themselves down on the scoreboard was controversial to say the least, with Fabinho‘s free-kick adjudged to have taken place inside the area meaning a penalty was awarded.

This all looked past the fact that the Brazilian had got the ball in his challenge, but who needs sense in football these days?

It ensured a turnaround was required and Klopp’s men did just that having shown a mental steeliness against a physical Sheffield United side.

But most notably, as shared by Opta, by turning an early deficit into a win Liverpool made it so that in the last 13 Premier League home games where they have conceded first they remain unbeaten.

The last nine, more importantly, have all ended in a Reds win and it has occurred twice this season already following on from the meeting with Arsenal earlier in the campaign.

Mental resilience of the highest order.

 

Gomez Rises to the Challenge

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 24, 2020: Liverpool’s Joe Gomez challenges for a header with Sheffield United's Oliver McBurnie during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

It’s been a tough ol’ time for Gomez in 2020 having battled through some indifferent form and resulting issues with confidence.

And while all eyes are on Liverpool’s defence in the absence of Virgil van Dijk, Gomez has answered all the early questions with two solid and reliable outings.

It’s easy at times to forget he is just 23 years of age and his rise will not consistently be an exponential one, but at a time when the opposition will have grown in confidence in finding a way through the Reds, Gomez is capable of making sure that stance doesn’t last too long.

Against the Blades, he coupled his ability on the ball (94 percent passing accuracy and 12 successful long balls) with eight clearances, two interceptions and important ground duels.

While his aerial ability is an area for improvement, Liverpool’s reliability on his performances could see him blossom and command the defensive line as his own as he has shown he can thrive with responsibility on his shoulders.

 

9,999

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 24, 2020: Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino (L) celebrates with team-mate Mohamed Salah (R) after the equalising goal from a rebound to level the score at 1-1 during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Sheffield United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by Propaganda)

It could have very well have been Mohamed Salah‘s had his effort not struck the upright, but his miss ensures Liverpool remains one goal adrift of 10,000 across all competitions.

The first came the way of Jock Smith in a 8-0 home Lancashire League win over Higher Walton in September 1892 and the most recent was, of course, Jota’s header.

You’d expect they will not have to wait long to hit the remarkable milestone with Midtjylland making the trip to Anfield on Tuesday for the second game of the Champions League campaign.

There have been some iconic strikes from 1892 to current day, but who will be the one to see the club’s goal count tick over to 10,000?

 

Two from Frightening 64

By coming out of Saturday’s game unscathed, Liverpool extended their incredible unbeaten run at Anfield in the Premier League to 62 games.

In that run (51 wins, 11 draws), they have won 28 of their last 29 games and in total have found the net 164 times while conceding just 41.

It means they move to within just one of equalling the club’s best-ever run at home without loss which came under Bob Paisley with 63 unbeaten between 1978 and 1981.

Liverpool would need to avoid defeat at West Ham to sit alongside their predecessors, where a shot to make the record their own would follow against Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester in the game immediately after the November international break.

A total of 27 different clubs have tried and failed since the last league defeat at the ground in 2017 against Crystal Palace. Simply astonishing.

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