Liverpool returned to attacking form in explosive fashion as two goals in the opening ten minutes saw them beat Brighton 3-1 at the Amex Stadium. But what were the key stats as the Reds moved one step closer to a historic season?
Three More Wins
Liverpool moved into the nervous nineties, as they hit 92 points with their 30th win of the season, in just 34 games. Three more wins would take them to a record 101 points, and a record 33 wins. This is the fastest any team has reached 30 wins in Premier League history, and Liverpool’s second highest ever Premier League points tally. As Simon Brundish points out, it’s also higher than any Manchester United team has ever got in Premier League history.
This was the most accomplished Liverpool have looked since they secured the title win, and moved them one step closer to history. But with tricky games against Burnley, Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle remaining, it’s fair to say Liverpool’s remaining games won’t be as easy as their last two against Villa and Brighton have been.
The Naby/Salah Combo Strikes Again
— Andrew Beasley (@BassTunedToRed) July 8, 2020
Naby Keita and Mo Salah were both crucial against Villa, and both combined brilliantly again in this match, as the above stat shows. All four of Keita’s key passes (worth a combined 1.04 xA) were to Salah. I mentioned Keita’s creativity last time out and it was clear again in spades in this game.
Salah meanwhile moves to 28 goal contributions for the season, 19 goals and nine assists, meaning he now has a staggering 100 Premier League goal contributions for Liverpool (73 goals, 27 assists) in just 104 appearances.
For such a “selfish” player, Salah is still Liverpool’s most creative player from open play for the third season running and has the fourth highest expected assists in the league, as well as the joint third highest actual assists.
On top of hunting his third straight golden boot, and being Liverpool’s top scorer for the third season running.
Defensive Issues Continue (But Who Cares?)
This match saw Liverpool ship ten shots inside the box, a whopping five big chances and 2.36 expected goals, despite Brighton’s finishing and some last-ditch Alisson and Neco Williams defending restricting them to one goal.
Two of the three worst defensive displays on paper that Liverpool have put in this season have come since winning the league, which when you phrase it like that, is a big reason why Liverpool won the league in the first place.
The Reds have only conceded more than once four times this season, defeats to Man City and Watford their two worst defensive displays, and then wins against Everton and West Ham. This is only the 4th time they’ve conceded over two expected goals and, as mentioned, two of those have been since the title was won.
The Reds have proven that they can defend when it matters.