So why has it gone so terribly wrong?
Liverpool are now breaking records for the wrong reasons. After reaching fame last season, the Reds have now lost six home games on the rebound.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were beaten 1-0 by Fulham at Anfield on Sunday and have now slipped to eighth in the Premier League table, leaving their title defense in tatters and further reducing their hopes of making the top four .
Here we take a look at 10 stats that highlight the dramatic collapse …
Six home losses on the rebound
It is the first time that Liverpool have lost six consecutive league games at home. To make it worse, six home losses are the biggest the Reds have suffered in a single league season since 1953/54 (when they also lost six). They suffered most for the last time in 1937/38 (when they suffered seven losses at home).
How bad is that?
Incredibly, Klopp’s side have the worst home record of England’s top-four this calendar year – having collected just one point in seven games at Anfield in 2021.
This record is worse than other home wrestlers since the New Year, including Charlton, Walsall, Rochdale, AFC Wimbledon and Carlisle United.
When did it go wrong?
Arguably the crucial moment was Virgil van Dijk’s end-of-season injury at Everton in October, followed by center-back partner Joe Gomez who was left out of the campaign after sustaining a knee injury in November. in England.
Indeed, the graph below reveals that the wheels began to loosen shortly after these injuries, plunging through the holiday season to an all-time low in recent times.
Weakness in attack or defense?
Is Liverpool’s collapse the result of defensive or offensive dips?
The Reds have conceded 36 goals in their 28 games so far, having only dispatched 20 after the same number of games last season – meaning the Reds’ defense is 80% less effective this quarter.
And their goal production also dropped by 26.6%, which helped collect 45.6% fewer points this time around.
The blows are drying up
Digging deeper into the heavily covered declining efficiency of the famous front three, the number of shots on target and, as a result, goals scored have dropped since the start of the year.
Injuries in defense could well have had a ripple effect here, with the Reds losing most of the high pressure to protect a high line when midfielders Jordan Henderson and Fabinho were forced to cover as center-backs from fortune.
Are injuries an excuse?
According to data from Premier Injuries, Liverpool had lost 1,029 league-leading days to injury this season as of March 1 – taking into account all reported injuries suffered since opening weekend and a duration of nine days or more.
So the current injury crisis has certainly contributed, if not caused, the collapse of form – but also highlighted a lack of depth, reliance on key players, and addiction to style of play.
To highlight the extent of their injury crisis, Klopp has now deployed 20 different center-back partnerships across all competitions this season – calling Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams for the loss to Fulham on Sunday.
Liverpool topped all champions in Europe’s top five leagues last season with a staggering 2.8 points per game. However, their defense ranks last – crashing to just 1.5 points per game, which equates to a -46% drop.
Paris Saint-Germain (-14.9%), Juventus (-13.3%) and Real Madrid (-3.6%) all plunged into form, while only Bayern Munich (+ 6%) is the only champion among the five leagues to record a repeat this term.
If all teams were to maintain their current per-game ratios for points, goals scored and conceded, then the Reds would end the season ninth – behind Aston Villa on goal difference and 30 points behind league leaders Manchester City.
Worst title defense of all time?
So would that 41-point drop be the worst title defense in Premier League history? Well, in terms of deposit, yes. Chelsea (2015/16) and Leicester (2016/17) currently hold that unfortunate mantle – both scoring 37 fewer points during the season after being crowned champions.