Was James Maddison the mastermind of Mohamed Salah’s penalty miss? Jurgen Klopp admits Leicester star ‘was putting off’ Liverpool’s free-scoring forward, as footage shows his intervention just before the kick
- Leicester City beat Liverpool 1-0 in the Premier League on Tuesday night
- Mohamed Salah missed a 15th-minute penalty for Liverpool to give them the lead
- Leicester’s James Maddison can be seen trying to distract Salah before taking it
Tuesday was a night to forget for Liverpool and in particular Mohamed Salah as they lost 1-0 at Leicester City.
Ademola Lookman was the Foxes’ hero with a 59th-minute strike to stun the visitors at the King Power Stadium.
However, things could have been so different for the Reds had Salah converted an early penalty.
James Maddison (centre left) tried to put Mohamed Salah (centre right) off before a penalty
Maddison could be seen talking to Salah before he took a spot-kick for Liverpool on Tuesday
However, it seemed to work as Salah missed his first penalty in four years as Liverpool lost 1-0
Leicester goalkeeper Schmeichel guessed correctly, soaring to his right to deny Salah
In an improbable further twist, the usually-deadly Salah headed the rebound against the bar
Salah had a 15th-minute penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel and headed the rebound off the bar.
Normally so precise from the spot it was a shock to see Salah miss from 12 yards as he failed from the spot for the first time in the Premier League in more than four years.
However, footage before he stepped up shows Leicester playmaker James Maddison could have proven a distraction.
As Salah waited to take the penalty, Maddison can be seen approaching him before then talking to him just before he took it.
It is not known what was said but it appeared to have the desired affect as Salah uncharacteristically fluffed his lines.
And speaking post-match, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said Maddison wasn’t the first player to try that.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp refused to blame Salah for their defeat at the King Power Stadium
‘Yes, James Maddison for sure was talking to him [to put him off], but everybody tries that,’ he said.
Klopp refused to blame Salah for his miss as he stuck up for his No 11.
‘There’s not a little bit of blame for him or whatever,’ he continued.
‘Mo usually scores from these situations and tonight he didn’t.
‘It was a little like the whole game, Mo is part of the team and usually he is better in this situation like the team was better in the football game.’
The Reds could also end 2021 in third place and nine points off top spot if Pep Guardiola’s City beat Brentford, and Chelsea at least draw with Brighton, on Wednesday.