The number that Liverpool fans quickly came to loathe in 2012/13 was the number four, as it represented first the hope of a new season before turning into a malicious, taunting place in the table that slowly spiraled out of reach for the club. Some feared that four was a poor target to begin with, as it could represent the lowering of standards when the number one is what the club should be focusing on.
In part because of the failure to reach fourth, there's been much debate as to how much progress the club has made in the past year — or even how that progress should be defined — and while the club may have come away empty handed in the silverware department, there are a handful of statistical accolades they can call their own, plus a few more where the club managed to be runners up.
Goals Per Game
Luis Suarez scored 0.70 goals per game, edging out Robin van Persie's 0.68 goals per game.
Most Wins By 3 or More Goals
Scoring was not Liverpool's problem this year, and typically when they scored at least one it meant they'd score at least a few more. Their prolific goal scoring saw them win nine matches by three or more goals, with Arsenal coming in second with seven matches won by the same margin.
Multiple Hat Tricks
Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie each scored two hat tricks in 2012/13, but Suarez did it in only twenty-three games while RVP took twenty-six to do the same.
Most Yellow Cards
Unsurprisingly, Luis Suarez was tied with a handful of other players for accumulating ten yellow cards. If not for his untimely quarantine, Suarez likely would have found a way to acquire himself another card in the season's remaining four matches and thus earn himself the sole title.
Most Assists by a Player Joining the EPL in January
Philippe Coutinho is made of sunshine and rainbows, and despite having only arrived in Liverpool during the January transfer window, the young player managed to score five assists during the last few months of the season, more than anyone else who only spent half the season in the league.
Liverpool also managed to scrape a second place finish in a few categories this season.
While Robin van Persie took the top spot with 26, Luis Suarez was right behind him with 23 goals. It's not unfathomable that he could have overtaken RVP's tally had he not spent the final four matches of the season suspended.
Liverpool's goal leaching was similar to its goal scoring: when it rains, it pours, and if the goal line was breached once, it was likely to be breached at least once more after that. Still, in spite of this, the club managed to rack up 16 clean sheets over the course of the season, with 14 of those being earned by Pepe Reina. Only Manchester City and Joe Hart managed more, with a total of 18.
PFA Player of the Year
While Gareth Bale walked away with the award for a second time, it was revealed that Luis Suarez and not Robin van Persie was runner up in the overall voting. The award may not count for much to most people unless won by one of their own, but second place in a Bale-obsessed world isn't bad for a player as reviled in England as Suarez.
None of these stats may be terribly sexy, but they do show that there's some optimism to be had around Liverpool, even if much of it is contingent upon Luis Suarez's incredible form this season. At the very least, even if the club's place in the table isn't exactly impressive, there is indeed some underlying work that shows the club is capable of much more than what their results actually showed for themselves this season.