Liverpool drew 1-1 with Leicester City on Wednesday at Anfield. It means the Reds missed their chance to go seven points clear at the top of the table.
We have a look at two key stats from the game to see what happened.
Liverpool passed the ball a lot against Leicester – 797 times, to be exact, nearly 200 more than their average. It’s also over 75 times more than any game since the 4-1 win over Cardiff City in October when Liverpool attempted 826.
That inevitably means above average figures for forward, backward, and lateral passes. The stand out, however, is how little Liverpool went long.
Only 5.7% of their passes went long – their fifth lowest this season. Choosing the safe option so consistently isn’t necessary a problem but it stands out when you consider the next stat.
Liverpool 1-1 Leicester – the xG
xG (expected goals) doesn’t tell you a lot on its own but it can point you in the right direction.
Liverpool had a recognised xG of 0.3 in the 1-1 draw with Leicester. Only Burnley have managed lower than that against the Foxes this season.
So why did that happen? The answer lies in Liverpool’s attack conversion.
Not counting counter-attacks, Liverpool found themselves in an advanced position 40 times. That’s actually very good, above their average, in fact.
What is bad is that Liverpool only managed three shots from those positions. That’s a conversion of 7.5% and the only three times Liverpool have managed worse this year were away at Manchester City, Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain.
None of Liverpool’s shots were clear-cut chances, either. Sadio Mane’s goal was a well-worked individual effort, while Roberto Firmino was unlucky after working two similar situations.
What we can learn from this
A lot was made of Liverpool exiting the FA Cup and the freshness it could bring. It does look like the break hurt their momentum a little, however.
The 1-1 draw with Leicester saw a timid Liverpool that didn’t look in behind and couldn’t break down a defence. It was a far cry from the team that won every game in Decemeber.
But you’d hope the lack of dymanism was just a case of getting back up to speed after finally getting a break. They may still reap the rewards of a week off over the next few weeks.
Monday’s game with West Ham United is a big one, though. They won’t have the excuse of a break for that one and Liverpool must get back up to speed.
All statistics are per Wyscout.com.