With a chance conversion rate of just 8.5% and a total of 28 goals after 24 games, equal with 18th placed Bolton, Liverpool’s attacking deficiencies are there for all to see, and are putting their top for ambitions in real danger.
The Reds have only scored three or more goals in league games on three occasions this term, which when compared to their main rivals in the fight for fourth place Chelsea (8), Arsenal (7) shows where King Kenny’s men are failing to deliver.
In fact its only due to their strong defensive performances, which have seen the Anfield club concede just 21, (second only to table topping Manchester City’s 19) that they are within touching distance of a place at Europe’s top table next season.
Liverpool have been missing, arguably, their most talented attacking player in Luis Suarez, after his eight-game suspension for racially abusing Patrice Evra. But, even the Uruguayan’s statistics in the league make for grim reading with only five goals from a whopping 76 attempts, giving him a 6.6% success rate, which is lower than the much criticised Andy Carroll.
It’s not so much chance creation that Liverpool have struggled with, but the ability to just apply the final touch in front of goal. This was summed up perfectly on Monday night, as an unmarked Suarez headed directly at Brad Friedel in the dying seconds. A yard either side of the American stopper and Liverpool would have taken all three points, in a game where they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession and chances but failed to bag the win. An all too worrying trend this season.
It’s a strange change in fortunes for the Reds this campaign, with results at the back end of last season, including the 5-1 drubbing of Fulham, and a Dirk Kuyt inspired 3-1 win over arch rivals Manchester United, suggesting that Liverpool would be a fluid attacking force.
Yes, there are excuses for the men in red, such as striking the post 17 times in their opening 17 games, and the absence of skipper Steven Gerrard. But, to have any chance of securing a top-four finish and Champions League football, Liverpool must begin to turn chances into goals, subsequently draws into wins and quick.
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