Liverpool secured their first Champions League victory since the 2018/19 final when they defeated Salzburg 4-3 at Anfield. The famous old ground’s 100th match in the continent’s top competition (including qualifiers) saw it’s 71st victory, though it was far closer than it probably should have been.
A look at the simplest of statistics – beyond goals – would suggest it was a close game. Each side had ten shots, with five apiece on target. This was Liverpool’s 13th home game in the Champions League proper under Jürgen Klopp, and only the second where the Reds didn’t dominate the shot count. For all Salzburg’s attacking strengths, they are not the Manchester City side of 2017/18, who are the other side not to be out shot in those 13 matches.
However, a deeper look at still fairly simplistic stats illustrates that Liverpool probably should’ve won at a canter. The Reds had five clear-cut chances – for the fifth time in a Champions League home game for Klopp – while only conceding one.
Those are the sorts of figures you would absolutely snap up in advance if you could; then again, in the group’s other match this week, Napoli had six clear-cut chances, missed them all, and could only take a point home from Genk. Big chances are great, but finishing determines score lines and results.
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