Liverpool wastefulness vs Crystal Palace evidenced by EMBARRASSING stat

Liverpool's title aspirations may have just gone up in smoke after suffering a second successive home defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace - and once again, wastefulness was front and centre.

After a lethargic start, the Reds found themselves trailing within quarter of an hour, with Ebereche Eze gifted acres of space in the Liverpool box to tap in a simple opener.

Throughout the remaining 75 minutes, Liverpool had a litany of golden opportunities to get back onto level terms, which would have allowed them to push on and find a winner.

However, shoddy finishing and poor decision-making proved to be their downfall, just as it was against Manchester United a week earlier, and Eze's goal would be enough for Palace to see out the win.

The defeat puts Liverpool at risk of falling up to three points behind in the title race with six points to go, putting them under severe pressure to turn their performances around at a time where nothing seems to be working.

Liverpool's failure to find the net has been incredibly painful viewing for fans. These stats aren't much of an improvement for the optics.

Only themselves to blame

When looking through their xG from Liverpool's previous Premier League outing at Old Trafford, it was clear to see that Jurgen Klopp's attacking ranks were struggling to find their shooting boots. Today did not buck that trend.

According to Opta, Liverpool’s xG total v Crystal Palace was 2.87 – their most on record (since 2010-11) in a Premier League match in which they did not score. Indeed, it was the most xG without scoring by any side in the competition since Brighton v Norwich in April 2022 (2.87).

The fact Liverpool failed to score against the Eagles continues to boggle the mind. The chances that fell to Mo Salah, Curtis Jones and Diogo Jota, among others, all looked like gifts for professional footballers. The definition of on a plate.

That said, it wasn't just the Reds' attacking forces that caused problems on Sunday. Liverpool's inability to start on the front foot this season was once again demonstrated against Palace.

The likes of Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate were caught napping on a number of occasions during the opening stages, and were deservedly punished through Eze. Of course, this wasn't a freak incident, especially when looking at Liverpool's defensive record at Anfield this season.

Opta also show that Liverpool have now conceded in each of their last nine Premier League games at Anfield; their joint-longest run at home without a clean sheet in the competition (also 9 in December 1996 and May 1999).

It all evidences the recent woes Liverpool have experienced under the increased pressure of the title race. They got away with poor performances against Brighton, Nottingham Forest and many others, but in the last week, their luck has run out.

Within three games, Liverpool's dreams of a fairytale Premier League title for Klopp's final farewell are quickly slipping away. Regardless of whether the Reds can turn their performances around, they've now lost the edge of the league being in their hands.

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