“They Don’t Finish” – Jermain Defoe Singles Out 2 Players As Reason For Liverpool Dropping Out Of Title Race

Ex-Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe believes the amount of chances that both Darwin Nunez and Mo Salah have missed is the real reason that Liverpool lost out in the title race this season.

The Reds are now 5 points behind league leaders Arsenal and four adrift of Manchester City heading into the final two fixtures. Speaking after the 4-2 win over Spurs on Sunday, Defoe contrasted Nunez and Salah’s finishing ability to teammate Diogo Jota:

“I think Jota is probably the best finisher He actually finishes, like calculated finishes. Salah and Nunez, they shoot if that makes sense. They don’t finish. Even Nunez, in the last action when he went through on goal, the obvious solution was to go around the goalkeeper and then pass it into an empty net.”

“But, for whatever reason, he tries to dink it over him. It’s the wrong thing to do in that situation. The chances, when it comes consistently, like week after week and game after game and you are missing all these chances, then you are competing against teams like Man City and Arsenal that get these chances and players are converting these chances, then you are going to fall behind.”

The stats don’t lie for Liverpool

In terms of missing “big chances”, Defoe’s remarks are very much backed up by statisticians Opta. Nunez has missed 27 this season; second only to Manchester City’s Erling Haaland (32) in the whole Premier League.

Of course, as a striker, you need to have the guile and movement to get on the end of these chances in the first place but it still exposes the Uruguayan international’s poor finishing.

Salah is only slightly less guilty of being wasteful in front of goal. The Egyptian is joint sixth on the list of big chances missed, having failed to find the back of the net on 15 separate occasions. If they had scored even a few of those opportunities, you do wonder whether the Reds would still be fighting for the title.

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.