On Thursday evening, Ashley Barnes’ late penalty secured a win for Burnley at Anfield that might have been unthinkable to some,.
But to anyone who has watched Liverpool regularly over the past few weeks, it was all too predictable.
Jurgen Klopp’s team were bereft of ideas in the final third, with even the surprise inclusions of Xherdan Shaqiri, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Divock Origi unable to inspire a break from what has become the norm since the turn of the year.
Aston Villa FA Cup procession aside, the Reds have now scored just once in more than 400 minutes of league football. And the stats get a lot more damning than that…
Burnley‘s victory blasted Liverpool’s air of Anfield invincibility to shreds, with Barnes’ penalty ending the Reds’ 68-game run without a league defeat at home.
It came off the back of a 0-0 home draw with Manchester United, and means they have now failed to score in successive league matches at Anfield since May 2012, when West Brom and Fulham both beat Kenny Dalglish’s team.
Incidentally, each of the same duo have taken points from the Reds since December.
One thing that should come as some encouragement for those of a Liverpool persuasion is that chances are being created…they’re just not being scored.
Taking xG numbers at face value, they should have scored 7-8 times since Sadio Mane’s opener against West Brom back in December.
Instead, they’ve scored 0.
Liverpool attempted 27 shots against Burnley. None of them went in.
Since that Mane strike against West Brom, they’ve attempted 87 in total. None of them have gone in.
It’s no wonder Klopp is struggling to believe what he’s seeing. Particularly when you see that Leeds, who are on the second worst run in that regard, have attempted just 27 shots since they last scored.
You know that thing you do at the turn of the year when you try and park bad habits at the door and embark on a journey of self-improvement?
Sod that, Liverpool have done the opposite.
If Klopp’s team have resolved not to score in the Premier League for the entirety of 2021 then it is so far, so good.
In terms of league goals, they are currently being outscored by Andy Carroll, Michael Keane, David McGoldrick, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, and goalkeepers at Eibar and Newport County.
It’s not the best time to be Trent Alexander-Arnold, is it? Liverpool’s golden boy is on his worst run of form since emerging on the first-team scene, and after giving the ball away a record-breaking 38 times against Southampton, he broke his own record by giving it away 39 times against Burnley.
The third-highest total for giving the ball away in a Premier League game this season? Trent Alexander-Arnold against Newcastle (31).
Against Burnley, he also became the first player in the across any of the past five seasons to attempt more than 12 crosses in a game and not complete a single one.
It may seem like a stretch to argue that any Liverpool player bossed it against the Clarets, but while it was a frustrating watch, the stats suggest that one player more than pulled his weight.
Sadio Mane created nine chances by himself: the most of any Liverpool player in a league game since Klopp was appointed.
If there’s one thing Sam Allardyce knows how to do, it’s get under the skin of the game’s top bosses.
But even by his standards, he has rattled Liverpool a belter.
Since Allardyce’s West Brom responded to Sadio Mane’s opener by parking the bus even more, the Reds have failed to score in 432 league minutes, dropping 12 of the 15 points available to them in that time.
They have also gone four successive league games without scoring: something that hasn’t happened to Jurgen Klopp since 2006, when he was in charge of Mainz.