MX23RW : Saturday, April 10 21:25:38| >> :120:11147:11147:

An analysis of Liverpool's problems in front of goal

An analysis of Liverpool's problems in front of goal
© Reuters
Burnley became the first visiting team in 69 games to win at Anfield.

Liverpool's imperious 68-match, 1,369-day unbeaten home record finally fell after Burnley's 1-0 victory at Anfield.

Jurgen Klopp's side once again paid for their lack of a cutting edge as a fourth league match without a goal cost them dearly.

Longest unbeaten home runs in English top-flight history
Liverpool saw the top flight's second-longest unbeaten home run ever ended by Burnley (PA graphic)

Here the PA news agency takes a look at the issues facing the defending champions.

What has gone wrong?

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp bends double with his head in his hands
Liverpool's goalscoring problems are causing manager Jurgen Klopp a major headache (Phil Noble/PA)

Put bluntly, not scoring goals. The Premier League drought now stands at seven hours and 18 minutes. It is their worst run without a league goal since May 2000, when they failed to win their last five matches of the season and did not score for seven hours and 56 minutes. Yet they still finished fourth.

They must be playing badly then?

Well, not quite. They are still creating chances: against Burnley they had 27 shots (but only six on target), had 12 corners to their opponent's none and enjoyed 72 per cent possession. The issue is their radar is well off. Against the Clarets Sadio Mane made nine key passes – no player has made more in a Premier League match this season – but Liverpool have not scored from their last 87 attempts at goal, 60 shots more than any other top-flight side.

So the forwards are at fault?

Liverpool forwards Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane celebrate a goal
Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have all fallen out of form at the same time (Michael Regan/PA)

Incredibly Mohamed Salah is still the Premier League's leading scorer with 13, one better than Tottenham duo Harry Kane and Son Heung-min. It is a month since the Egypt international came off the bench to score twice in the 7-0 demolition of Crystal Palace. Since then his only goal in six matches is his strike against Aston Villa's youth team in the FA Cup. Roberto Firmino, who also scored two against Palace to make it three in two matches, is six games without a goal. Mane is the last player to score for Liverpool in the league in the 1-1 draw with West Brom on December 27.

What about the dynamic duo at full-back?

Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrate on the pitch
Liverpool's full-backs Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold have been a key creative force in previous seasons (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

In their title-winning season Trent Alexander-Arnold (13) and Andy Robertson (12) contributed 25 assists between them. The previous campaign it was 23 combined. Currently Robertson is the team's leading creator with five, Alexander-Arnold has just two and is another looking woefully short of confidence. Against Burnley he attempted 18 open-play crosses – no player has made more this season – with a zero success rate, becoming the only player in the the last five Premier League seasons to not complete a single cross with 12-plus attempts in a game.

What can Klopp do to change it?

The problem the Liverpool manager has is he cannot rely on the current back-up to his front three who, bizarrely, have all fallen out of form at the same time. Divock Origi, who has looked like he has been heading for the exit door for 12 months now, has scored two goals – one against League One Lincoln – in his last 26 matches in all competitions. Injury-affected duo Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Xherdan Shaqiri have one in 15 and two in 37 respectively. Take away Salah, Mane, Firmino and September signing Diogo Jota and the rest of the squad have contributed just six in the league. With a January transfer unlikely the return of the injured Jota (eight in his last 11 games) cannot come soon enough.

ID:431657: cacheID:431657:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:11769:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Burnley's Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring against Liverpool in the Premier League on January 21, 2021
Read Next:
How is the Premier League season shaping up at the halfway point?

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Scottish Premiership
La Liga
Serie A
Ligue 1
Primeira Liga
League One
League Two
National League
National League North
National League South
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Turkish Super Lig
Belgian Pro League
Greek Superleague
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Norwegian Eliteserien
Swedish Allsvenskan
NIFL Premiership
League of Ireland Premier
Welsh Premier League
Belarusian Premier League
Segunda Division
Serie B
Ligue 2
Copa Diego Maradona
Liga MX
AFC Champions League
Australian A-League
J1 League
1Manchester CityMan City32235467234474
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd30179458332560
3Leicester CityLeicester30175853341956
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham30157848371152
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs30147951321949
9Leeds UnitedLeeds31143144949045
10Aston Villa301351243331044
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves31108133141-1038
13Crystal Palace31108133352-1938
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton30711123338-532
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3078153050-2029
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom3049172559-3421
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd3042241752-3514

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!