Liverpool thrashed Swansea 5-0 to move back into the top four and close the gap on 2nd place Man United to five points. But what were the key stats from another emphatic win at Anfield?
Phil Coutinho etc.
Honestly, it’s boring when your best player is the same person week in, week out. But here we are again, with the majesty of Phil Coutinho. Four shots, one of which hit the target (and how), five key passes, resulting in an xA of 0.42 and of course one assist, a stunning pass for Bobby’s first goal. Five dribbles, with three free-kicks, won on top of that.
This was Phil’s fourth goal from outside the box this season, joint most with KDB despite playing over 600 fewer minutes, and his 19th in the Premier League since joining Liverpool, comfortably the most from any player over that period. If he’s a long shot merchant, then he’s easily the best in the league at it.
Big Dom Strikes Out
Fate can be cruel sometimes. Or maybe it’s confidence. Either way, Dominic Solanke, who came on for the final quarter of this game, had the second highest xG of any player on the pitch, 0.70. He missed the best chance of the match, with only two-goal Bobby Firmino securing a higher xG.
Solanke’s form is worrying now, as he’s amassed an xG of almost 2.5 this season in the PL without finding the net. His xG per 90 is the highest in the squad at 0.85 – not including Danny Ings’ eight-minute cameos – so clearly he’s consistently getting himself into good positions off the bench, but just cannot find the net.
Bobby Firmino, Liverpool’s Number Nine
One man who isn’t struggling in front of goal is Bobby Firmino, who added two more goals to his tally today, moving to nine for the season in the league and 16 in all comps. A goal every 157 minutes in the Prem and every 130 minutes in all competitions, with eight assists factored in Bobby is contributing a goal or assist every 87 minutes.
Bobby has always had the backhanded compliments – saying he offers more than just goals or he isn’t a traditional number nine. And whilst he is so much more than just a goal machine, the fact that he’s now adding to his goal tally cannot hurt. His goalscoring rate is now superior to Lukaku and Lacazette in the Premier League, and it’s only marginally worse than Morata’s. What was that about Liverpool needing a number nine who scores goals? They. Have. One.
As a peculiar quirk, Liverpool now have the outright best defensive record in the Premier League at home. With United conceding two goals at home to Burnley today (*snickers*), the Reds’ record of three goals conceded in ten home games is the best in the division, with seven clean sheets.
It’s also the best home defensive record in Europe’s top five leagues. Whilst both Sevilla and Atletico Madrid have also both conceded three goals at home, those are in eight and seven games respectively. Forza Jurgen’s tight-at-the-back-at-Anfield Reds.