Liverpool Football Club finally got their hands on the Premier League trophy on Wednesday, banishing recent goalscoring demons in the process.
I’m never going to get tired of that Jordan Henderson shuffle, especially when he’s lifting the Premier League trophy.
With their recent form underwhelming to say the least, there was a concern that perhaps Liverpool’s trophy lift would be where the entertainment ended for their fans against Chelsea.
The Blues confirmed the Reds’ champions status almost a month ago when they beat Manchester City and since then Lampard’s side had been on an interesting run of form.
Despite losses to Sheffield United and West Ham in the last month, the Londoners had backed up beating City by also beating Leicester 1-0 to leapfrog them into third and as recently as Sunday had made light work of “benchmark setters” Manchester United.
Liverpool, on the other hand, had almost just stopped showing up once the title was confirmed.
Lazy performances away at Manchester City and Arsenal along with a frustrating draw to Burnley had seen the points record flicker away with fans on social media divided as ever.
There was no such problem on Wednesday night at Anfield however as the Reds refused to let anything spoil their trophy lift party.
What Do You Mean Scoring Troubles?
It almost seems weird to suggest that a side who will finish on a minimum of 96 points this season could have had any trouble scoring goals at any point during the campaign but Liverpool certainly have of late.
Since the restart, the Reds had scored 11 in 7 prior to Chelsea’s visit.
In their 7 league games just prior to the break they’d managed 16.
It doesn’t seem like a massive difference but nine of their goals since the restart had come in three games with the other four fixtures yielding just two goals from 68 attempts (23 on target).
In fact, the image of Mohamed Salah staring down an empty net against Burnley only to splice an off-balance effort into the stands with his left foot tells you all you need to know.
Against Chelsea however, there were no such issues.
Despite losing by two and conceding five, the official xG for the match (1.45 – 2.38) actually stood in Chelsea’s favour!
The Reds’ however simply made sure of their finishes.
Where against Burnley, City and Arsenal a number of their efforts had been in comfortable areas for the goalkeepers, the Reds hit the top corners with all five against Chelsea.
Naby Keïta set the tone with his early screamer that rocketed in off the underside of the crossbar as Alexander Arnold, Wijnaldum and Oxlade-Chamberlain all followed suit.
Even Firmino’s header was classed as landing in the top left-hand quadrant of the goal.
10 shots, an xG of 1.45 but 5 goals.
Football’s an absolutely amazing game.
It would be wrong of me to do an article on banishing goalscoring demons without including my guy Bobby.
The Brazilian has been like two separate players this Premier League season in front of goal, scoring 8 times on the road but having to wait until his final home appearance of the season to net at Anfield.
The Brazilian has certainly had his chances too!
InfoGol reported before the fixture that Bobby’s xG for the season as a whole was 15.99, slightly more than Sadio (14.30) and slightly less than Mo (17.32).
This was broken down into an xG of 8.26 on the road – resulting in 8 goals – and 7.73 at home, resulting in until last night, zero!
Firmino has certainly come close – he hit the post just a couple of games ago against Burnley – but he was not to be denied against Chelsea.
As soon as the ball left Alexander-Arnold’s foot, the Brazilian was ahead of his man and thumped his header home emphatically just to make sure.
Ironically, the chance only had an xG of 0.41.
He’s always smiling but it has to be said our no.9’s smiles looked all the wider having buried that demon.