Klopp identifies issue behind lack of goals

Matt Stead

Jurgen Klopp has once more offered his backing to Christian Benteke, and has discussed Liverpool’s lack of goals.

Benteke is Liverpool’s top goalscorer this season with seven in 21, but questions have been asked of the suitability of the £32.5million man in this current Reds side.

Roberto Firmino has been favoured in a false nine position in recent games in place of Benteke, but Klopp was pleased with the Belgian’s efforts in the FA Cup third-round replay against Exeter on Wednesday.

“Everyone could see against Exeter he was involved in two of the three goals,” Klopp said. “He’s working hard and his attitude was really good.

“Sometimes he tried too hard but he knows where goal is. It’s something we need to develop together. He knows what we want to do.”

Eleven teams have scored more Premier League goals than Liverpool this season, but Klopp believes that a simple change in decision-making from his players could facilitate a upturn in fortunes.

“We have to take the right decision in the right situation,” Klopp said. “There have been a lot of moments when if we had been cooler we’d have taken the right option.

“When you don’t score a lot of goals you have to have a very disciplined defence.”

He added: “It is better to shoot than not to shoot.”

As Daniel Storey wrote in Winners and Losers:

‘Liverpool have taken 365 shots this season, compared to 387 by Manchester City and 333 by Arsenal. They rank second in the Premier League (behind City), yet 12th for goals scored. That is the problem.

‘It’s not hard to see why. Liverpool have taken 161 shots from outside the area, five more than City and 71 more than Arsenal. They have scored five times from those 161 shots. Only 35 of them (22%) have even been on target.’