Liverpool saw off a poor but spirited Burnley side thanks to doubles from Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino. But what were the key stats from a pulsating 4-2 win on Sunday lunchtime at Anfield?
Sadio Strikes Again
If it seems like I’m doing a section on Sadio Mané every single week, but he’s very quickly become Liverpool’s most influential and important attacker. With Mo now one goal in eight and Bobby one in nine before this game, Sadio has been lighting up the Premier League. This was the eighth goal he’s scored in eight league games and the eighth in his last six home games. He now has 16 non-penalty goals which is the joint most in the Premier League and more than Mo Salah on 15.
On the day, Sadio was absolutely vital, scoring two excellent and important goals but also having the most dribbles of any Liverpool player (2/3), the joint most key passes (three) and the highest xG with 1.74 and two big chances. After a middling start to the season, Mané has exploded since Christmas, to make himself a vital cog in this Liverpool attack. And to finish, here’s a fun stat about what it means that he’s scored in six straight home league games:
5 – Sadio Mane has become the fifth Liverpool player to score in six consecutive Premier League home appearances, after Michael Owen, Fernando Torres, Luis Suarez and Mohamed Salah. Famous. #LIVBUR
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 10, 2019
Return Of The … Lallana?
Yeah now I freely admit that Adam Lallana being voted man of the match largely on merit was surprising to me too, but he really was brilliant. His off the ball performance was as exceptional and we’ve come to expect from Adam Lallana, with 4/4 tackles and an interception. But his on the ball performance was strong too. He played a crucial part in both of the first two goals, made two key passes and a dribble to add to the mix.
Another man returning to the starting line-up was one Roberto Firmino, a man who was sorely missing from goalless draws against Everton and Man United. Bobby showed what he brings to the table, with two goals, a game high 1.71 xG Build and a game high 3.30 xG Chain. Bobby scored both of his big chances and was involved in almost everything good that Liverpool did. Tom Heaton deserves a lot of the credit for both of Bobby’s goals with his errors, but you can only take the chances that are put in front of you and Bobby did sensationally well to do just that. Here’s a stat to show just how important Bobby is to this team.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 10, 2019
Record-Setting Reds Continue Fine Season
Two fantastic little stats here to finish the article, both of which I’m hoping will contextualise the job that Jurgen Klopp is doing, particularly at Anfield where Liverpool have dropped just four points all season, and haven’t lost in the Premier League since 2017.
Via @StatsZone: Liverpool are unbeaten in their last 36 Premier League home games (W26 D10). There have only been two longer such unbeaten runs in the PL – Chelsea (86 games between March 2004-October 2008) and Man City (37 between December 2010-December 2012).
— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) March 10, 2019
— Gracenote Live (@GracenoteLive) March 10, 2019
Defensive Situation Continues To Impress
Yeah okay we conceded twice but the first was a disgraceful goal from the officials’ perspective and the second we were caught napping. Overall, though, Liverpool were excellent with Virgil Van Dijk continuing to make his case for Player of the Year. 3/3 tackles, four clearances, an interception and 7/7 aerials is excellent as ever. Liverpool’s defence has been the bedrock of their season, as this was the 22nd game this season that they’ve conceded less than one xG, with 19 wins from those 22. Unfortunately for Liverpool, those three draws have come in their last three away games.