Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Tuesday February 19 2013
In defeating Swansea City 5-0 on Sunday afternoon Liverpool recorded the most shots seen in a single game in Europe's top leagues this season...
All things considered, Liverpool are unquestionably enduring another inconsistent season which, unless they overcome a 2-0 Europa League deficit against Zenit Saint Petersburg, looks set to end with the Reds merely scraping to improve on last season's lowly 8th place league finish.
Many always felt with a new manager, new players and a new playing style that this was going to be a transitional period for the club and so it has proved.
There are however some statistical signs that the club are heading in the right direction.
Going into this past weekend's round of fixtures, it was revealed Liverpool had become the first side in Europe's top five divisions to pass the 500 shots mark for the season.
Earlier in the campaign, as in previous years, converting those shots to goals had proved problematic but with the exciting signings of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho, to add to the phenomenal Luis Suarez, the issue appears to have been tackled head-on.
The 5-0 win over Swansea on Sunday, in which five different players found the net, saw Liverpool attempt 35 shots at goal. The figure, combining efforts on-target, off-target and blocked, is the highest one-game total seen in Europe's top leagues this season and is the Merseysiders' second entry into the current top 10.
Sturridge was again on target to take his record since arriving from Chelsea in January to a prolific five goals in seven appearances. Another to find the net against the Swans, Suarez, now has a combined 23 for the season and sits second to Manchester United's Robin van Persie in the race to the Premier League's golden boot prize.
That personal scoring accolade, Suarez has 17 to Van Persie's 19, is something that Sturridge is seemingly only too happy to help his strike partner try and achieve.
"I'll try to help him get there and give him opportunities," said the 23-year-old to Liverpoolfc.com earlier this week.
"It's always good to get individual glories as a player because they're the things you can look back on at the end of your career and tell your grandchildren you were top scorer for that season.
"I'm sure he'll be gunning for that and I'll try to help him get there."
The weekend victory over manager Brendan Rodgers' former side took the club's scoring tally to an impressive 30 in their last 12 Premier League games.
Only on one occasion have the Reds failed to find the net in that time; last Monday's 2-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion. A game in which Liverpool again created numerous openings and even missed a penalty amongst their 23 attempts at goal.
Obviously there is still plenty of work to be done and defensively the Reds have struggled of late with Sunday's cleansheet their first in five games; a period in which they conceded 11 goals.
But the signs are positive and hopefully they point to a bright future. If nothing else, the football on display currently is far more entertaining than that seen during many other periods of the past couple of decades!
Most shots in a game (Europe 2012-13)
1. LIVERPOOL v Swansea City - 35
2. TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR v Reading - 34
3. NEWCASTLE United v Swansea City - 32
4. Swansea City v EVERTON - 31
5. ROMA v Cagliari - 31
6. Cagliari v JUVENTUS - 30
7. Brest v PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN - 30
8. BAYER LEVERKUSEN v Borussia Moenchangladbach 30
9. JUVENTUS v Atalanta - 30
10. LIVERPOOL v Sunderland - 29
Did you know?
Although impressive, Liverpool's tally of 35 shots is still some way short of last season's high which was recorded by Manchester City during their dramatic final day victory over Queens Park Rangers. That 3-2 win, resulting in the Citizens being crowned Premier League champions, saw City register 44 shots - almost one every two minutes.
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Date:Tuesday February 19 2013
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|4. Man Utd||38||20||10||8||25||70|
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