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Liverpool penalty myth exposed by Manchester United but Leicester should beware Mohamed Salah – Liverpool Echo

Liverpool penalty myth exposed by Manchester United but Leicester should beware Mohamed Salah – Liverpool Echo

There may have been no supporters inside the Etihad on Sunday, but the shouts from those not backing Liverpool were loud and clear.

Less then 15 minutes had gone when Sadio Mane’s burst inside the area and was brought to a shuddering halt by Manchester City defender Kyle Walker and referee Craig Pawson blew for a foul.

“Penaltypool!” was the cry across social media at the award, Liverpool’s fourth spot kick in eight Premier League games this season.

Of course, the numbers don’t exactly back that up, with the Reds having been given just 12 penalties in the previous two campaigns in which they recorded club record totals of 97 and 99 points respectively.

For comparison, Manchester United were awarded 26 in the same time period despite taking 64 fewer points and scoring 63 fewer goals.

This season, while United continue to rack up the spot kicks in all competitions, although they aren’t leading the way in the top flight this term.

Jordan Henderson (L) leans over teammate Trent Alexander-Arnold (R) as he sits on the ground after picking up an injury during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Liverpool

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That honour instead falls to Leicester, who remarkably are averaging a penalty every match having been awarded eight in the Premier League. They currently stand top of the early table.

The Foxes are next up for Liverpool when they visit Anfield following the international break, the fixture still provisionally scheduled for a week on Saturday.

Brendan Rodgers’ side, though, should be wary if his former club are awarded a spot kick during the match.

When Mohamed Salah powered his shot from the 12-yard mark beyond City goalkeeper Ederson at the weekend, it was the 20th consecutive penalty – in open play – that Liverpool had successfully converted.

It moved them to within one of the club record of 21, which was set between September 1986 and April 1988.

Liverpool’s sequence has included six penalties from James Milner, one from Roberto Firmino with the remaining 13 converted by Salah.

The last Reds player to miss was Sadio Mane in the 4-0 Champions League group stage home win over Red Star Belgrade in October 2018.

Salah himself has now netted 14 consecutive penalties since his spot kick against Huddersfield Town at Anfield was saved by Jonas Lossl in October 2017. It was also the last time Liverpool missed in the Premier League – a run of 17 conversions.

The Egyptian, though, still has a little way to go before matching the club record for one player scoring the most amount of successive spot kicks, Jan Molby twice netting 18 times in a row either side of a miss against Chelsea in December 1989.

That several of Liverpool’s penalties, such as at home to Leicester and Tottenham Hotspur last season and on the opening weekend this term against Leeds United, have proven winners in high-profile fixtures has only strengthened the myth surrounding the Reds.

But while the statistics suggest they aren’t being favoured by officials, the numbers reveal Liverpool – and Salah in particular – have become devastating in punishing opponents from the spot.

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