Liverpool crashed to an infuriating and at times hapless 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford. But what were the key stats from the Reds’ fourth league defeat of the season?
Creative Juices Stymied
Liverpool ran into an absolute brick wall, as you might have expected at Old Trafford against a well-disciplined Mourinho side, especially a Mourinho side who got a couple of early goals. Penalty shouts aside, Liverpool were woeful creatively.
Their xG totalled 0.78, their third-lowest total of the season and their lowest since the 4-1 defeat against Spurs. Of that 0.78, 0.36 of that came from Van Dijk’s aerial opportunity just before United scored. Liverpool failed to create a single chance of 0.1 xG or higher from open play, and as a result, no player had an xGChain or xGBuild of 0.1 or higher. The front three had an xG of 0.17 between them and an even lower xA of 0.12. Simply put, none of them could get in the game.
United were similarly bland, creating just one big chance for Juan Mata and scoring two goals from low xG chances, resulting in a total xG marginally higher than Liverpool’s at 0.85. But you don’t need to create when you score two goals in the opening half hour. This stat sums it up really.
— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) March 10, 2018
United Record Remains Shocking
Liverpool just hate playing Man United. We’re absolutely rubbish at it. Liverpool have won just five of their last 22 games against United in all competitions and just two of their last 14 in the league. With the previous four games between the two sides resulting in draws, Liverpool now haven’t beaten United in five games in all comps and haven’t beaten them in the league since the 13-14 season, with five defeats and three draws since then. Liverpool have essentially had to be at their best to get anything from Old Trafford in recent years, with their only two wins there in the last 14 years coming in 2009 and 2014, with our two best Premier League sides. Frustrating.
Top Teams Frustrate Reds
Last season Liverpool won five and drew five of their ten games against the Premier League’s top six, securing 20 points from those matches, whilst struggling at times against the likes of Hull, Swansea and Bournemouth. This season, the opposite has been true, with the Reds losing just once against teams outside the top six, but their record against the top sides has been awful.
Two wins, four draws and three defeats from nine games results in ten points from the top six. Four of those ten have come against Arsenal and away from home, the Reds have now picked up just a solitary point from their four games. That also came against the Gunners, with defeats to United, City and Spurs meaning only Arsenal have a worse record against the top teams.
Today the referee missed three stonewall penalties and at least one Man United red card, as well as the absolute joke that was the stoppage time. The most mistakes by a referee managing a Liverpool game since…well, the last time we went to Old Trafford (this stat may or may not be legitimate).