Brendan Rodgers may be staunchly defending the performances and subsequent results that his side have registered this season, but there’s one stat - including Cristiano Ronaldo - that threatens to wash away all the excuses.
The Real Madrid hitman has been in stunning form for Los Blancos so far this season, and has quickly shaken off the theory that last season was to be his peak campaign. A relatively poor World Cup, at least by his standards, generated a surprising level of criticism for the Portuguese superstar, but he’s come back with a bang.
In 12 appearances in all competitions for Madrid this campaign he’s already notched 19 goals, with his brace against Levante this weekend moving him further up the European goalscoring charts. To put his ridiculously statistics into true perspective however, one only needs to compare him to the entire Liverpool team.
Ronaldo v Liverpool
That’s right, one doesn’t have to pit him against the likes of Raheem Sterling or Daniel Sturridge alone to get a bearing of just how well he’s performing; he outstrips the whole of Rodgers’s squad.
Ronaldo’s 19 goals on his own is only answered by Liverpool’s 17 in a similar period, meaning essentially that since the season’s start the Madrid ace has been more prolific than all the stars at Anfield combined.
Naturally many of Liverpool’s failings where it matters most this term have been attributed to the departure of Luis Suarez, who managed to bag 31 goals in the Premier League alone last term.
His supposed replacement, Mario Balotelli, has struggled to fill the void and, given his miss against QPR at the weekend, appears to suffering from a bout of low-confidence. Indeed Liverpool’s fortunes this season seem to be markedly down on what they were last year, with the Reds sitting in 5th place, having already lost three times.
A shaky defence is also contributing to uncertain performances, but it’s their lack of being as prolific as they were during the 2013/14 campaign which many are identifying as the main problem.
Coincidentally Liverpool’s next outing will see them trying to stop Ronaldo, as the Reds take on Madrid in the Champions League this Wednesday vying to recover from a disappointing defeat to FC Basel during their last outing.