The astonishing statistics that lay bare Liverpool's wastefulness in front of goal

Sunday proved another hugely frustrating watch for Liverpool supporters as the Reds fell to a disappointing 1-0 defeat at home to Crystal Palace. 

It brought a dismal week to an end as Eberechi Eze's first-half strike separated the sides, leaving Liverpool third in the Premier League table and their title bid in tatters.

They are two points off league leaders Manchester City and remain behind Arsenal on goal difference after the Gunners lost 2-0 to Aston Villa on Sunday.

However, the Reds, despite playing pretty poorly by their own standards for large periods, could well have walked away from Anfield with all three points.

They created a hatful of glorious opportunities, each spurned as Liverpool's XI took it in turns to outdo one another in terms of profligacy.

Wastefulness in front of goal has been a problem for Liverpool in recent weeks, laid bare during the 2-2 draw with Manchester United at Old Trafford last weekend.

With their Premier League title hopes now hanging by a thread, their wayward shooting boots may prove costly come the final kick of the season.

THE ASTONISHING STATS BEHIND LIVERPOOL'S WASTEFULNESS

Liverpool were not at their best against Crystal Palace, that much is clear, but they could have easily secured yet another comeback victory.

The Reds finished the clash with an expected goals (xG) tally of 2.81, yet somehow drew a blank. Defending was also an issue, of course, with Palace racking up a worrying xG of 1.98, but Liverpool still could have snuck three points had they been more clinical.

One player who has been particularly guilty of wasting glorious opportunities this season is Darwin Nunez, and the Uruguayan missed another wonderful chance against the Eagles in the second half.

Another blank at the weekend means the former Benfica forward has scored 11 league goals this season, but he has an xG tally of 18.29 - a truly damning discrepancy.

Darwin Nunez, Liverpool

Football - FA Premier League - Manchester United, ManU FC v Liverpool FC MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Sunday, April 7, 2024: Liverpool s Darwin Nunez reacts after missing a chance during the FA Premier League match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda MANCHESTER Old Trafford GREATER MANCHESTER ENGLAND PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Copyright: xDavidxRawcliffex 2024-04-07-106-Man_Utd_Liverpool

Nunez has now missed a remarkable 25 big chances in the league this season, with Mohamed Salah the next closest on just 13 big chances missed. That total increases to 32 for Nunez across all competitions, while he has only scored seven of his big chances.

Only Erling Haaland (30) has missed more big chances than the Liverpool striker this term, although his goal tally sits at 20 for the campaign - nine more than Nunez.

Missing big chances has been a theme of Liverpool's campaign to date, with the Reds having created the most (109) and missed the most (66) of any team in the Premier League this season.

Liverpool also lead the Premier League for total xG (74.7), significantly ahead of second-placed Man City (68.3). Yet, the Reds have scored fewer goals than the reigning champions and Arsenal this season, and only three more than Newcastle United who have an xG tally of just 62.2.

Out of Liverpool's five senior forwards, only Diogo Jota is outperforming his xG at present, highlighting just how wasteful the Reds' front line have been this term.

Ultimately, it could well cost Liverpool the title, even if not all blame can lie at their door.

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