HomeOTHEREPLLiverpool Vs Man City | Stats Analysis

Liverpool Vs Man City | Stats Analysis

Coming into the game at Chelsea last weekend, most Liverpool supporters would admit they were not confident they’d win all of the following three games. (Chelsea Away, City Home, Chelsea Away). Two-thirds of the way through and Liverpool beat Chelsea away and have now drawn to City at Home. A dominating performance from Liverpool left many supporters disappointed as they’d say Liverpool deserved the victory and the accompanying three points.

A similar outcome to many of Liverpool’s previous games this season; drawn when they had a substantial number of chances to win the game. However, the performance against a team that had 23 goals in 6 games away from home was brilliant. Additionally, Liverpool looked to be in control through most of the 93 minutes.

Defence

The Skrtel-Agger partnership has been a strong one. There should be no doubt that the two of them should be starters. They’ve helped Liverpool maintain their defensive strength in the Premier League and have not looked shaky as a unit as they may have before. That’s not to say that Carra is at fault here though. I think Steve Clarke has done a great job at disciplining the defense.

City’s goal came from corner. Some poor marking from some of the outfield players caused that.

Looking at the heat maps, Liverpool’s high defensive line is very apparent. Considering they were in control for much of the game, it is understandable.

(Enrique-Agger-Skrtel-Johnson)

The fullbacks had a good game as well. They were constantly running up and down the flanks and providing attacking threats. The two full backs created 3 chances among themselves. What did stand out today was some of Enrique’s carelessness in passing. He left passes short a couple of times that put the back line and keeper in tough situations. His pass completion reflects that. At 72%, it was lower than his season average thus far. Both fullbacks put in a total of 4 crosses each.

What did stand out from my observations today was Johnson’s defending. Enrique was his usual self, but Johnson’s defending seems to be improving. He made a couple of great last ditch tackles to prevent crosses.

Overall, the defence did their job well. Coming up against a team whose scoring records this season are off the chart, Liverpool did well to prevent any scoring from open play.

Midfield

(Downing-Adam-Lucas-Hendo-Kuyt)

When the line-ups were first shown on air, it looked like Kenny had set Liverpool up in a 4-4-2 with Henderson playing out on the right and Kuyt up top with Suarez. However, as the game picked up, it was apparent Liverpool were playing some sort of a 4-5-1. That saw Kuyt and Downing take up the wide positions and Charlie, Lucas and Jordan take up the central ones.

That 3 man midfield is the reason why I believe Adam shone against City. Looking at the heat maps it’s clear Adam spent much of the game playing in an advanced position in comparison to Lucas. Henderson provided cover in the center as well. As such, our central players were able to keep the likes of Silva and Yaya Toure quiet for much of the game. The support in midfield allowed Liverpool to build up play without compromising the back four.

Lucas in particular had a tremendous game. With a pass completion of 92%, tackle and aerial win rate of 100%, he dominated the center of the park. He kept possession well, broke up play and recovered well. He is definitely my favorite defensive midfielder in the league. Neither Adam nor Jordan boasted similar stats, but it’s understandable considering the two of them were more involved in the attacking plays. The three central players created a total of 4 chances among themselves.

It’s safe to say that most of Liverpool’s attacking game develops along the wings. Downing had an open play pass completion of 87% with Kuyt trailing behind at 79%. Kuyt made some careless passes that messed up some forward moves. Furthermore, playing on the wing, he only managed to put in a grand total of one cross. Downing on the other hand put in a total of 8.

The difference is understandable though. Downing usually sticks to the side lines and puts in crosses. Kuyt on the other hand usually cuts in from the wings and plays in a pass and move manner. It explains why his heat maps show him to be in central positions a lot more than Downing.

With that said, I wouldn’t say Kuyt had a brilliant game. He seemed a little anonymous like Henderson, and the two did make some careless mistakes. Adam had a decent game, but I’d have liked to see him track back more. Through much of the first half, it was him and Suarez at the front when City were in possession in their own half. His movement off the ball seemed a little lethargic and there is some definite room for improvement. His set piece deliveries were a lot better though.

Attack

The only player in this category is Suarez. He worked very hard, as he usually does. It’s a shame he didn’t score. He had two shots on goal in addition to the two chances he created. Unfortunately he has not been getting too many decisions in his favor. Defenders kick him up all game and those fouls only seem to be called every now and then. His hold up play was brilliant yet again. For someone of his stature, it’s amazing how he manages to out muscle so many big defenders.

His finishing is still a concern in my opinion. He has been great though. Playing as a lone striker against a team like City was always going to be hard.

Carroll was unlucky not to put his header in.

Summary

Liverpool performed as a team which led to success on the pitch. They controlled the game and midfield for much of the game. They even managed create more passes than City. The pass and move philosophy is slowly integrating itself within the team. There are still moments of carelessness among certain players however.

Defensively, Liverpool were almost perfect, had it not been for the goal. And that includes the back 4 as well as the central players.

The central players are beginning to gel well. I stand by what I’ve stated on several other occasions though; Charlie Adam shines in a 3 man central midfield. The same goes for Lucas. The two man midfield works in certain games, but for the most part it adds a lot of pressure on the two players.

Additionally, Liverpool’s right wing could use some more creativity. Kuyt doesn’t put in many crosses. In addition, he isn’t the type of player to beat his defenders and lacks pace. As such, the left side is where most of Liverpool’s threat originates from.

It’s definitely worth trying out Johnson on the wing, with Kelly at the back.

A great team performance on the whole, but a disappointing result. Somehow a number of keepers manage to have the game of their lives against Liverpool; making brilliant saves. Unfortunately, it has played its part in keeping Liverpool’s chance conversion very low. At 7%, it’s been a major issue for the team.

Joe Hart, with six saves (compared to Reina’s one) was definitely City’s man of the match. Lucas was Liverpool’s in my opinion.

LFC Game Vs Season Stats:

–          Ground 50-50s were 3% higher than the season average of 54%.

–          Aerial 50-50 win % was 6% higher than the season average of 62%.

–          Tackle success rate was close to 10% higher than the season average of 74%.

–          Possession was lost every 7.8 minutes. Better than the season average of 7 minutes.

–          Pass completion was only 1% better than the season average of 80%.

–          9 successful dribbles in this game. A season average of 2.48 per game.

–          Crossing accuracy fell 1% to 23% in comparison to the season average.

–          A chance was created every 7.8 minutes. Season average of 7.4.

–          Chance conversion at 7% for the game. 3% lower than the season average of 10%.

 

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