Analysis: Stoke 0 Liverpool 1

I will not be able to dedicate as much time to this blog in future as I used to, so my aim this season is to do a quick post for every match, rather than the longer articles which take too much time to research and write. These will often be just one or two things that I’ve noticed, and rarely in-depth, but hopefully I’ll spot something that you didn’t, or provide a little context to something that you did.

It was soon evident at Stoke that Mignolet was trying to find Benteke with long balls. The Belgian at the back found the one up front with eight passes, which was at least five more than Mig managed to any other Liverpool player in the mach. But how does that figure compare to the goalkeeper’s most frequent pass combinations from last season? I’ve also highlighted the other occasions when the most passed to player was a striker in the table below.

Mig Pass CombosWe can see that eight passes was a high tally compared to most of last season, and also that it was a rare that Mignolet passed more often to a striker than anyone else. Of course, this has just been one game, but it’ll be interesting to see if this continues; my assumption is that it is something we’ll see far more on the road than at Anfield, but only time will tell at this point.

The other thing to note (not least in light of my recent piece on Benteke, which was the most read article in this site’s history) was that Liverpool completed five crosses in this match, with the Belgian striker being the recipient of three of them. Again, one game proves nothing, but the Reds only averaged 3.8 completed crosses per game last season, so this is another trend to maybe keep an eye on. If they continue to complete five a game, then Liverpool will be one of the top teams in the league for accurate crosses.

That’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed this new style post. As ever, all feedback is gratefully received.

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8 thoughts on “Analysis: Stoke 0 Liverpool 1

  1. What worries me more is that how often big belgian did actually convert those crosses into something positive, as i saw it there wasnt much of them long balls he received successfully. Probably its just stoke playing at home

    • … the issue here obviously not being that Benteke did anything wrong, but there was no-one up alongside him to benefit from his long-ball control. It’s not enough be Niall Quinn: you also need someone to be Kevin Phillips!

  2. Nice summary. Shame you won’t be doing so much detailed work Beez, but these little short and sweet ones will be great. Break them down into tweets occasionally too! We’ll no doubt have a better Plan B this season for teams like Stoke, but one we’re match fit and firing with Tekkers and Studge we’ll be carving defences open like we were in 13/14. A little glimpse of it yesterday when Firmino chipped over to Hendo who should have brought that down and pulled back to Ben. We need to smash Bournemouth off the park in the first 20 mins on Monday.

  3. Doesnt this move away from Rodgers most fundamental principle of playing the ball out from the back and another of keeping possession at all costs? Very interesting.

  4. Thanks, nice piece as always .
    Totally chuffed with 3 points at Stoke, took a lot of balls to excorcise last season’s demons. I wonder whether Brendan’s end of season review with the owners included a commitment to a more pragmatic approach to defending- hence the long balls and preference for Lovren over Sakho. I’m sure the beautiful football will come considering the flair we have available but it may be less reckless than the 2013/14 variety. I’d happily take another thirty ugly 1-0 wins right now.
    The sad thing is that Saint Steven stayed a season too long. Looking forward to seeing a more dynamic , combative midfield this season with Milner and a liberated Henderson.

  5. Pingback: Analysis: Arsenal 0 Liverpool 0 | Bass Tuned To Red

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