Comeback King Mo Seals Scrappy Win
It’s quite rare that Liverpool come from behind to win a game this season. It’s equally rare that the Reds win a game when they’ve lost the xG this season. This was just the second time that either of those things has happened this season.
The Reds secured an xG of 1.75, which is fine, with two big chances, but it was lower than Palace’s 1.96. Against Leicester early in the season, when the Reds won 3-2, is the only previous occasion they’ve won with a lower xG this season.
And Leicester were also the opposition when the Reds last won from behind, with Mo Salah scoring twice that day, and Sadio Mane providing two assists. Those two were once again the heroes today, with Mo once again scoring that vital winning goal.
Defensive Issues Rear Their Head Again
With Joe Gomez injured, there were concerns over Liverpool’s right flank defensively, and they proved to be legitimate as Zaha ran Trent ragged to create a big chance and win a penalty in the opening fifteen minutes. But the visitors also had issues at the heart of their defence as Palace created four big chances, with Benteke missing two in the second half. Palace had just six shots in the game, with their four big chances producing an xG of 1.88, compared to 0.08 from the other two efforts.
And that 1.96 was the 6th worst xG Liverpool have conceded this season, conceding over two expected goals on five previous occasions. Worryingly for Klopp, four of those previous five were away from home, with both Watford and the aforementioned Leicester 3-2 providing serious issues for the Reds.
James Milner Turns Up The Heat
James Milner has consistently been a useful player for Liverpool this season, and once again proved his worth with a vital second-half performance against Palace. He played four key passes, creating a big chance that resulted in Mane’s goal. His xA was an impressive 0.74, the highest of any Liverpool player, with his xGChain 1.31 and his xGBuild 1.19, both the highest on the pitch.
On top of that, he also won three headers, pulled his weight defensively with two tackles, an interception and two clearances, and also won three free-kicks for his side. A solid all-round game for the English midfielder.
Mo Salah – Record Breaker
It gets boring talking about Mo every week, but he keeps on scoring goals which means that he keeps on breaking or equalling records. His 37th goal of the season and his 29th in the Premier League means he’s now the highest scorer in a single season for Liverpool since Ian Rush, he’s the joint highest African scorer in a single Premier League season, and has scored in 21 games, level with Cristiano Ronaldo and Van Persie for the highest in a single PL season.