Liverpool and 43-goal top scorer Mohamed Salah endured a rare off day against Stoke, with the Reds hitting some unwanted lows after scaling so many highs.
The 2017-18 campaign has been a memorable one for those on the red half of Merseyside, with a goal-laden season seeing Jurgen Klopp’s side surge into the top four and to within touching distance of the Champions League final.
Only champions Manchester City have proved more prolific in the Premier League, while even Pep Guardiola’s all-conquering side cannot claim to have matched the Reds’ unbeaten record on home soil.
That sequence was stretched on Saturday against Stoke, but Liverpool drew an unfamiliar blank against the struggling Potters.
A 0-0 stalemate with a relegation-threatened side saw the Reds fail to find the target for the first time in a league fixture at Anfield since the turn of the year.
West Brom were the last side to keep them out, back on December 13, 2017. Klopp had seen his side plunder 27 goals in eight games since then, but there was to be no breaking down stubborn Stoke.
Even Salah, who has been unstoppable at times this season, was contained by Paul Lambert’s side.
The Egypt international did get one clear sight of goal during a cagey contest, but he surprisingly clipped the ball wide of the post when one-on-one with Jack Butland.
In total, a man who leads Golden Boot and Golden Shoe races fired in seven shots, but not a single one hit the target – his worst return in a single game for the Reds across all competitions.
On top of Salah’s efforts, Liverpool mustered another 13 efforts between them.
Misfiring on 20 occasions represents a four-year high for the Reds as not since failing with 26 shots against Chelsea in April 2014 have they peppered the goal so frequently without hitting the net.
Perhaps it was the presence of Lambert on the touchline which did for Klopp’s side, with the Scot having preserved his own unbeaten record at Anfield.
Liverpool will be hoping to be back among the goals on Wednesday when they take in the second leg of a Champions League semi-final clash with Roma which they currently lead 5-2.
They will then travel to Chelsea next Sunday, before wrapping up their Premier League campaign at home to Brighton on May 13. A potential Champions League final may await on May 26.
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