Liverpool 2 Aston Villa 2: Stats Zone Analysis

Whatever the logic behind Brendan Rodgers’ initial tactics against Aston Villa was, the system did clearly not work out well at all. Paul Lambert’s side performed superbly, especially in the first half, and dominated the statistics more than any visiting team at Anfield has previously in 2013/14.

The Villans created a clear-cut chance (CCC) inside the first sixty seconds of the match, and they got better from there onwards.

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Liverpool’s Chance Champion

Regular readers will know that one of my projects this season is monitoring the quality of chance that teams in the Premier League create, based on the area of the pitch in which the key pass is received.

With a shade over half of the season gone, I thought I’d review the individual figures for Liverpool’s squad to see who has done well, and whose chances aren’t worth the grass they’re passed across.

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Hull City 3 Liverpool 1: Stats Zone Analysis

On the face of it, the headline stats suggested that this was a fairly even contest. You wouldn’t expect to lose a match 3-1 when you’ve had 61.5% of the possession, created seven chances to your opponents’ six, had an equal number of shots on target (four), and only three fewer shots in total. Yet looking deeper into the numbers reveals where the issues were.

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Everton 3 Liverpool 3: Stats Zone Analysis

After a frenetic, see-sawing Merseyside derby (which was Liverpool’s highest scoring league draw since the 4-4 with Arsenal at Anfield in 2009), I guess the most important facts from a Liverpool perspective are that they now have four points more than they had from the corresponding fixtures last season, seventy points from the last thirty-eight league games, and have only had more than twenty-four points from the first twelve games four times in the Premier League era.

Brendan Rodgers has now taken the same amount of league points (eighty-five) as Kenny Dalglish did in his second tenure, but in six fewer games. Overall, the Reds are doing pretty well.

However…

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Liverpool vs Fulham: Chance Quality Preview

After a match up between two of the Premier League’s best teams for chance quality at the Emirates Stadium last weekend, this week sees teams at opposite ends of the spectrum meet at Anfield, when Fulham visit Liverpool on Saturday afternoon.

Although the Cottagers have been clinical in a couple of areas of the pitch, by and large their chance creation this season (both for and against) has been something of a horror show. The Reds will surely have enough in their armoury to win the match, and the below explains why.

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Arsenal 2 Liverpool 0: Stats Zone Analysis

Where are Liverpool at the moment? Did anyone truly believe that they are realistic title contenders? I suspect that if they did before this match, then they probably don’t anymore.

Yet as much as the result was disappointing, there were some crumbs of comfort to take from Liverpool’s performance.

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Newcastle United 2 Liverpool 2: Stats Zone Analysis

Having enjoyed watching Liverpool’s match at St James Park, I felt afterwards that the Reds had played reasonably well, albeit it was something of a missed opportunity not to win having faced only ten men for half of the game.

I was therefore surprised to log on to a Twitter timeline full of very strong criticism for the performance. I know I can be guilty of over-relying on the stats to assess how Liverpool play, but the numbers certainly demonstrate that Brendan Rodgers’ team did quite a bit right.

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Swansea 2 Liverpool 2: Stats Zone Analysis

After my first attempt at analysing a match via Stats Zone two weeks ago, I’ve again taken to the app to cast my critical eye over Liverpool’s 2-2 draw away at Swansea City.

Although I am happy enough with a point, as it maintains the Reds’ five point advantage over their corresponding fixtures from last season, there were many areas of the performance that left a lot to be desired.

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PLCQ: The First Three Weeks

In my last blog post, I introduced the concept of ‘chance quality’, which is a system I have devised for assessing which players and teams create the best goal scoring opportunities (read more here).

I have made the most of the two-week international break (as there was little for me, as an England fan, to enjoy on the pitch), and compiled the chance quality stats for the whole of the 2013/14 Premier League so far. Hence the name; PLCQ = Premier League Chance Quality!

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Liverpool 1 Manchester United 0: Stats Zone Analysis

As an owner of a shiny new smartphone, I’ve recently become acquainted with FourFourTwo’s excellent Stats Zone application. Typically, they’ve now made it available on the web too anyway, meaning that I didn’t need the new phone to access it after all.

Anyway, now that I can use Stats Zone, I’m going to post interesting things from there that I spot from the latest Liverpool match, to try to get to the bottom of why the result turned out as it did; in this case, spectacularly well.

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