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Liverpool's goal-scoring woes emerge as another concern for Jurgen Klopp

Talk of Liverpool's recent struggles has centred around their back five, but it is the other end of the pitch that is costing them points.

Feature 02 Oct 2017, 20:03 IST

Liverpool's attack has been profligate in front of goal this season
Liverpool's attack has been profligate in front of goal this season

Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku, Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Morata, and Alexandre Lacazette. Those five strikers have two main things in common, they are all in form, and none of them play for Liverpool.

The narrative around Liverpool is that their front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah is their strength while their back five is their glaring weakness that prevents them from seriously challenging for the title.

Make no mistake, Simon Mignolet in goal with a defence of Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Alberto Moreno is far from watertight and Jurgen Klopp's expansive playing style only exacerbates that particular problem.

Klopp's so-called 'heavy metal' football would leave most defences vulnerable to the counter though, given the nature of it, the need to finish off the chances they do create is of paramount importance, and that is where the real issue lies.

Sunday's 1-1 draw with Newcastle demonstrated both of the Reds' woes. Newcastle's goal came about first from poor Lovren and Matip defending, and then Joselu bundled in a fortunate rebound to level the score at St.James' Park.

That led to the inevitable question marks over Liverpool's defending again, but Liverpool, having 17 shots on goal and only managing to get two on target, told the actual story of the match.

This was by no means a one-off. In the 1-0 win over Crystal Palace, they had 23 shots, 13 of which on target but only one went in, against Sevilla they had 24 shots, scored twice and had to settle for a point while against Burnley, the hosts fashioned 35 attempts on goal at Anfield and drew 1-1.

Identical examples also occurred in the League Cup defeat to Leicester and the 1-1 draw at Spartak Moscow in the Champions League.

On paper, it is probably easily fixed with a big-money addition in January or even next summer, but it is slightly concerning that boss Klopp is simply putting it down to luck.

Following the Spartak draw, he said," We are not the most lucky team in world football but we did very well in creating chances against a defensively-oriented team.

"There were good saves from both goalkeepers and wrong decisions at the decisive moment.

"That is how football is. The only way you can change it is to do it again and do it again. We can see a bit of light. We have to stay cool, work hard and we will be all right."

It is not strictly the fault of Mane, Firmino and Salah, who have all had impressive starts both individually and as a collective.

Firmino, in particular, has silenced a few of his critics as he started to emerge from Phillippe Coutinho's shadow while he was involved in a protracted transfer saga with Barcelona...or suffering from a bad back, whatever point of view you believe.

Despite this though, he remains very much a number ten rather than the number nine that both his shirt and position reflect. Daniel Sturridge, who started against Newcastle, has meanwhile struggled to find his rhythm and when given the chance, has flattered to deceive.

The odd disgruntled Liverpool fan calling for Klopp's head is premature and knee-jerk but if the larger-than-life German refuses to plug this pitfall, he will quickly find himself under pressure from more than just the reactionary Red in the Kop End.

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