Damning statistics highlight Liverpool's offensive struggles against Atalanta

Liverpool's Europa League journey came to an end as they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Italian side Atalanta on Thursday night. Despite securing a 1-0 victory on the night, the damage was already done for Liverpool in the first leg at Anfield a week earlier, leading to a 3-1 defeat on aggregate.

Jurgen Klopp's team faced a daunting task as they arrived in Bergamo, but the evening began positively. Mohamed Salah put the Reds ahead after just seven minutes, converting from the penalty spot.

However, Salah then spurned a clear chance to make it 2-0 on the night when he chipped the ball well wide of the target after going through on goal.

The Reds also believed they should have had a numerical advantage on the field when Atalanta's Isak Hien escaped with just a yellow card after stopping Luis Diaz going through on goal due to a deliberate handball.

This left the Reds feeling optimistic going into the second half as they chased two goals to force extra time. However, Klopp's substitutions failed to make an impact, and the visitors struggled to create scoring opportunities.

Slow build-up

One of the main reasons for the Reds' lack of creation can be seen in the statistics.

Amazingly, the two Liverpool players with the most touches were centre-back Ibrahima Konate (106) and goalkeeper Alisson Becker (105).

The Brazilian completed 82 passes (the most by any player on the pitch), and the most by a goalkeeper since Opta's records began.

For large periods of the game, Alisson operated almost as an outfield player, with a lot of his side's buildup play coming through him as he approached the centre circle.

However, the ball spent far too much time with him, with those in front either not making enough movement or being man-marked by Atalanta.

While Klopp threw Darwin Nunez, Diogo Jota and Jayden Danns on up front to try to mount a comeback, ultimately, the Reds bowed out of Europe with a whimper, only managing two shots on goal in the entire second half.

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