HomeOTHEREPLWBA 0 Liverpool 2 | Stats Match Report

WBA 0 Liverpool 2 | Stats Match Report

Liverpool FC beat West Bromwich Albion by 2 goals to none yesterday, away from home. A great result for the team that succumbed to two draws over the two weeks leading up to this fixture. Those who did watch the game will agree Liverpool dominated for the majority of the match.

In analyzing their performance we must take a quick look back at issues experienced in the last couple of games. Liverpool has done very well to create chances. However, their failure to convert those chances at a decent rate has left them with some disappointing results. Contrary to what many may believe, coming into this game, Liverpool were tied 3rd with Chelsea as far as defensive records were concerned.

As mentioned above, Liverpool dominated the match for much of the game. The following are some key match statistics:

A brief look at the above table provides a good idea of how dominating Liverpool’s performance was. Their last game against WBA away from home ended in defeat (1-2) with a number of the statistics against them.

There is definitely a sign of improvement in Liverpool’s performances. Perhaps the new comers are starting to gel properly; Andy Carroll most notably. His partnership with Suarez is finally looking to take shape. Skrtel and Agger commanded the defense very well. Lucas was his usual self and broke up play decently. Through my initial observations on Twitter/Facebook, it appears as though Downing received the most criticism during the match.

So let’s jump right into it. We start with Reina who didn’t have much to do today. He made one save, caught five corner balls, punched one cross and had 8 goal kicks. I thought his distribution was good as it usually is.

Defence

Liverpool didn’t concede away from home. That alone is a testament to how good they were. There were perhaps one or two shaky moments, but the partnership of Skrtel and Agger in the center proved to be great. It’s a partnership a number of fans, myself included, have been dying to see develop. Fullbacks did their job well. Enrique started off the game with a great ball forward towards Suarez which he failed to control. It would have been a perfect start.

Heat maps for the defence:

(Enrique-Agger-Skrtel-Johnson)

The high defensive line stands out the most. Considering Liverpool controlled most of the game, it’s no surprise. Agger also ventured into the opposing half a couple of times. The fullbacks were very involved in Liverpool’s attacking play. Enrique hit the byline a few more times than Johnson though. On the other hand, Johnson stuck to right and rarely ventured into central positions while Enrique did.

Agger had an 82% pass completion while Skrtel managed 92%. Skrtel also created one chance in open play. Agger won all 4 of his tackles and 9 of his 10 possession duels. Skrtel won all 3 of the tackles he attempted and all 3 of his possession duels. Neither of the central defenders conceded a foul, though Agger won 3.

Enrique’s pass completion was low at 72% in comparison to Johnson’s 90%. Johnson put in 3 inaccurate crosses, while Enrique only managed a single accurate one from his 6. Johnson failed to create a single chance while Enrique created 3.

Midfield

Liverpool’s midfield consisted of Jordan Henderson, Lucas Leiva, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing. I felt Jordan was a little anonymous for most of the game. He also seems to shy away from tackles. He does have a good positional sense though. His close control of the ball seems to go unnoticed sometimes as well. Lucas worked hard throughout the game. Charlie Adam started a little rusty as the weights of his passes were being misjudged. He shot his penalty well and secured another goal to his tally. It’s tough to describe Downing’s contribution today. However, we’ll let the stats do the talking for this section.

Heat maps for the midfield:

(Downing-Adam-Lucas-Henderson)

A couple of things worth noting here: I’m not a fan of players being played out of position. I believe part of the reason Jordan remains anonymous in games is because he played out on the wing. As such, his skill set and ability doesn’t translate very well towards our overall game play. He stuck to the right wing for much of the game, but almost never made it to the byline. It does have the tendency to take away some width from the overall gameplay. As a result, you end up at a portion of the pitch which is very over crowded. Furthermore, it has the ability to stretch the defense.

Downing, in comparison, moved very well along the left touchline. His partnership with Enrique is blossoming well. He didn’t cut into the center as much as Jordan did. Lucas played his usual defensive role and covered a decent area of the pitch. He spent most of his time in the central area of the pitch providing a good link between defense and attack. Adam, unsurprisingly moved forward more than Lucas did and failed to track back as much as Lucas did.

Adam had a single shot on goal while Lucas had none. Both Adam and Lucas completed 80% (81%) of their passes and made a similar number of passes. 3 of Charlie’s 7 crosses were accurate with a success rate of 43%. (Well above the season average) Charlie also created 3 chances while Lucas didn’t. Lucas won all of his 4 tackles, 7 of his 10 possession duels and made 3 interceptions. In comparison, Adam lost his only tackle, won 2 of his 6 possession duels and made 2 interceptions. Adam conceded 2 fouls while Lucas won 2.

Downing had 2 shots off target, 79% pass completion and only 1 out of 5 of his crosses was accurate. He created a single chance from a set play. Jordan had a single shot off target, 79% pass completion and none of his three crosses were accurate. He didn’t create a single chance though he won both his tackles.

Attack

Liverpool’s attacking game has been under scrutiny for a while now. Their failure to convert chances has resulted in the loss of key points. Their chance conversion stood at 13.3% today though; 4% higher than their season average of 9%.

Heat maps for the attack:

There isn’t much to say about Suarez. He could be spotted at various areas on the pitch trying to create chances. He spent the majority of his time in just outside the opposition box as well as on the right. Andy seemed to be working hard throughout the game. He was spotted all around the pitch as well. Perhaps he tracked back a little too often, but it was necessary. He usually caught the high balls and laid them off to someone else who continued the attacking moves. Suarez played a perfect pass to Andy who scored a beautiful goal to tally Liverpool up to 2 for the game.

Andy had 3 of his 7 shots on target, a 67% pass completion rate, created 2 chances and scored the second for Liverpool. All 4 of Suarez’s shots were off target. He had a pass completion of 91% and only one of his two crosses was accurate. He also clocked in with an assist and the creation of 4 chances.

Summing it up:

Liverpool had a dominant performance today. The defense was perfect and the attackers managed to convert some chances. The notable stand outs were Jordan, Downing and Suarez. Jordan doesn’t fit the winger role well. I believe we lose out on some of his ability when he is played out there. He doesn’t seem to have the pace to beat his defender out on the wing. His game is composed of neat, simple passes. He is ideal in a central or central attacking role where he can control moves.

Downing started off brightly for Liverpool, but seems to have lost some heat over the last couple of weeks. Today, he moved well, but barely created any chances. Furthermore, his shooting accuracy can also be questioned.

The only thing that bothers me about Suarez is his inability to finish. He’s pure class on the field and does well to create chances out of nothing. However, I’d like to see an improvement to his finishing. He had an open goal/sitter which he shot over the bar today, for example.

The team played brilliantly today. The players seem to be gelling a little better. Most notably, it’s great to see Andy and Suarez working together well. Let’s hope this is the beginning towards a great partnership.

The 4-4-2 formation seems to take away some of the creativity from the center. A number of the chances come from the wings or from wide positions. It’s not bad, but I’d like to see us utilize more of the pitch. We put in a lot of crosses which tend to go for a waste. Our accuracy isn’t the best out there.  In addition, we need to get Andy a little more involved in our build-up play. There have been improvements since he has arrived, but I still feel we tend to use him almost exclusively as a header.

Key team stats from today:

–          2% higher ground 50-50 wins in comparison to season stat.

–          9% increase in tackle win % in comparison to season stat.

–          Minutes per loss of possession was 10.3. Season stat of 8.

–          Increased pass completion at 81%. Season stat of 79%.

–          3 successful dribbles. Season stat of 2.15/game.

–          5.8 mins/chance. Season stat of 7.2 minutes/chance.

–          5.8 mins/shot. Season stat of 7 mins/shot.

–          13% chance conversion. Season stat of 9%.

More News

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here