Liverpool’s form this season has been completely contrasting with its fortunes last term and the stark decline in one aspect of the Reds’ performances could be to blame.
Liverpool has been in completely contrasting form this season to the exploits of last year where Jürgen Klopp’s side came agonizingly close to completing an unprecedented quadruple. One major issue could be the root of this clear contrast in fortunes.
The Reds’ most recent outing came in a drab 0-0 draw with Chelsea earlier this week which, in many ways, was symptomatic of their listlessness this term, with the Merseysiders never really looking like scoring. In truth, the point at Stamford Bridge was one of Liverpool’s better results on the road this season, having managed to come away with points on seven occasions — three wins and four draws — in the Premier League this season.
Klopp’s all-conquering outfit of previous campaigns was nicknamed the ‘Mentality Monsters’, reflecting their ability to dig deep and grind out results in difficult circumstances, but this season’s displays have been more of the ‘minnows’ variety. Their performances in the second half of games have been increasingly toothless with an inability to find the back of the net a particular concern, with form away from home having been particularly poor in this regard.
Since the turn of the year, Liverpool have shipped eight goals, scoring just once during the second half of games away from home, according to 1x2stats. If one contrasts this with the Reds’ home record in the second half of games, they have scored seven without conceding during this calendar year.
Worryingly, if we take a look at the Reds’ record across the 14 games they have played so far on the road this season, it is clear that scoring goals has been a major issue, with Klopp’s side only finding the back of the net six times in all during the second half of games while conceding 14. In fact, Liverpool has only ‘won’ a second half once away from home this term, which is the joint-worst record in the Premier League alongside strugglers Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest.
Furthermore, the historic 7-0 demolition of Manchester United aside, the Reds have scored only five goals during the second half in their last 18 league games. It seems a bit of a labored point at this stage of the campaign but if one compares this with the form of last season, the contrast in Liverpool’s fortunes is stark, with the Reds scoring the second-most goals at home with 50 and the most goals during the second half of games away from home with 22 strikes during 2021/22.
The good news for the Reds is that, of their remaining fixtures, only four of them are away from home, which will be a blessed relief for many supporters when one considers that Klopp’s side has picked up just 13 points on the road this season — the same amount as Southampton and Leicester City, who are currently in the relegation zone. In truth, they have not been anywhere near as disappointing at home this season and would be fourth in the table if only home form was taken into account.
Following the stalemate away at Stamford Bridge, it is clear that Liverpool probably cannot afford to drop any more points this season if they are to qualify for the Champions League. Last season’s quadruple-chasing side dropped just four points in the last 10 games on their way to finishing runners-up on 92 points but the omens are not good for the final set of fixtures this time around when you factor in how the Reds have fared this term.
Liverpool surely knows they are in the last chance saloon when it comes to rescuing their top four hopes, with the visit of league leaders Arsenal likely to pose a major test at the weekend, given what is at stake for both sides. Klopp will be desperately hoping that his side can arrest its slide sooner rather than later.