Liverpool’s main issues this season have stemmed from being too easy to score against, but there has been another worrying trend to emerge at the other end of the pitch.
The Reds’ goalless draw against Chelsea was their fourth consecutive 0-0 against the Londoners, over 445 minutes have been played between the two since the last goal, excluding penalty shootouts.
Worryingly, it is not just against Chelsea that Liverpool have struggled to score goals.
Since beating Man United, the Reds have scored just once in four games – Mo Salah‘s opener against Man City.
They haven’t been unlucky in front of goal, though. Liverpool are just not creating chances like they used to.
According to Liverpool journalist Andrew Beasley, “Liverpool have generated 0.1 xG [expected goals] in total across their last three second halves.”
Chelsea – 1 shot
Liverpool have generated 0.1 xG in total across their last three second halves. Bleak.
— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) April 4, 2023
In each of the last three second halves played, at Real Madrid, Man City and Chelsea, Liverpool have had just one shot after half time.
At the moment, the Reds are not even managing to put pressure on their opponents when a goal is desperately needed, there has simply been no reaction.
The first halves, especially at Stamford Bridge, weren’t much better. Against Chelsea, Liverpool generated just 0.35 xG during the full 90 minutes as opposed to the opposition’s 2.17, as per FotMob.
It is thanks to Alisson that Liverpool’s malaise did not cost them further, but while he is bailing out the defence there has been no such response in attack.
We got battered, again. pic.twitter.com/rcEEJEZK1I
— Sam McGuire (@SamMcGuire90) April 4, 2023
Jurgen Klopp has attempted a couple of systems to rectify the problem.
Against Man City, the Reds played a 4-2-3-1 with Salah as the furthest man forward ahead of Cody Gakpo, Diogo Jota and Harvey Elliott.
This worked relatively well in the first half but resulted in the Reds being overrun after the break.
The manager went back to his usual 4-3-3 against Chelsea but dropped Salah and Gakpo, bringing in Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino to play on the left and centrally respectively.
This made Liverpool all the blunter as the rotated full-backs, Kostas Tsimikas and Joe Gomez, failed to connect with the wingers effectively. Firmino started the match well but faded and was playing too deep to score for the majority of the game.
Jota failed to make an impact off the right while Nunez couldn’t make space to shoot when he received the ball on the edge of the box. The Uruguayan wasn’t helped by his teammate, Tsimikas, having a poor game which resulted in the left back being withdrawn after 66 minutes.
While he has missed a large part of the campaign through injury, the fact remains that it is almost a year since Jota scored a goal for Liverpool.
The Reds are on course to score fewer Premier League goals than in any season since 2015/16, the campaign in which Klopp talk over midway through.
In the league, Liverpool have netted 1.71 goals per game so far this season. In contrast, the Reds scored 2.47 per game last time around.
It is another worry to add to a seemingly ever-growing list!