If you look at the table I have set out below you will see clear trends of progression up until last season for Liverpool. While our goal scoring tally had increased by 16 goals from 2005 – 2009, our defensive record was very consistent in Rafa Benitez’s best four years in the Premier League. As you can see the downward spiral occurred last season with a massive drop in goals scored and a significant increase in the amount of goals conceded to nearly 1 per game:
Liverpool Premier League Results
04/05 – 51 goals scored / 41 goals conceded / 14 defeats / 5th
05/06 - 57 goals scored / 25 goals conceded / 6 defeats / 3rd
06/07 – 57 goals scored / 27 goals conceded / 10 defeats / 3rd
07/08 – 67 goals scored / 28 goals conceded / 4 defeats / 4th
08/09 – 77 goals scored / 27 goals conceded / 2 defeats / 2nd
09/10 – 61 goals scored / 35 goals conceded / 11 defeats / 7th
10/11 – 6 goals scored / 9 goals conceded / 2 defeats / 16th
Liverpool under both Gerard Houllier and Rafa Benitez were known for their defensive organisation. No matter the criticism levelled at Rafa for his zonal marking at set pieces or his two holding midfield players, the Reds always relied on their solid defensive foundations. That all changed last season when, combined with a lack of goals scored, the defence began to leak quite significantly as the Reds lost 11 games, their worst record since Rafa’s first season in charge.
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