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JUST IN: Liverpool player has just shown why moment that left Steven Gerrard fuming

Scary’ Liverpool player has just shown why moment that left Steven Gerrard fuming won’t happen again.


Liverpool fell to defeat at Bournemouth and missed the chance to close the gap on Tottenham Hotspur.


For both Liverpool and Mohamed Salah, the timing of Saturday’s penalty miss versus Bournemouth couldn’t have been any worse.


Sent high and wide with just over 20 minutes remaining in the contest, there is every chance the Reds would have gone on to score a second had the back of the net bulged. On a personal level, this failed conversion arrived just days after Salah’s sit-down chat with Steven Gerrard, during which he discussed the art of scoring from the spot.


First-choice penalty taker James Milner was also on the pitch at the time of the Egyptian’s miss, prompting the question of why the Leeds-born midfielder did not step up himself to try his luck from 12-yards.

Jurgen Klopp reiterated in December 2020 Milner remained the Reds’ priority penalty taker, though Salah recently revealed in his LFCTV appearance alongside Gerrard how the pair agreed an alternative approach to the agreed structure in place at the club.


I think when I came I wasn’t in the first one, two, three, four [penalty takers]. I don’t know. Then there was a game at Huddersfield [in January 2018] and [Harry] Kane was scoring 21, 22 [goals]. Something like this. There was only one difference [between Kane and Salah],” explained Salah.


Then Milner was in the game and I wasn’t really aware of everything going on. I was like ‘Okay. I’m going to take it’, I asked him nicely. A few players came to me and I said ‘guys, I need to take it. I need to score. We’re already [two] goals up’. And for me, there he [Milner] told me to take it. So, I took and equalised with Kane and after that Milner came to me [to let me take them].”


Salah’s wayward effort on the South Coast means his conversion rate from the spot now stands at 83 per cent (20 scored out of 24), with Milner out in front on 90 per cent (19 scored out of 21). Salah’s record is by no means a cause for concern, though his shot off target did highlight one key point about Liverpool’s vice-captain that is worth remembering.



How many other Premier League players would willingly allow someone else to take responsibility on penalty kicks when they are the chosen taker? Not many is the answer. When Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at Manchester United in the summer of 2021, there is no doubting the Portuguese forward would have been itching to replace Bruno Fernandes as the go-to figure. Such is the character of Milner, however, his near eight years at the club have been typified by selfless acts, be it spending a season at left-back, providing Salah spot-kick honours or accepting his reduced role in the team while remaining committed at all times.


Not everyone possesses the same traits as Milner, which his former Manchester City team-mate Mario Balotelli proved in February 2015 during Liverpool’s Europa League round-of-32 first leg tie with Besiktas. Awarded a penalty with five minutes remaining at Anfield, there was no Steven Gerrard on the pitch having been ruled out of the fixture due to injury. Stand-in captain Jordan Henderson took it upon himself to take his chance, only for Balotelli to snatch the ball away from him and declare it would be him doing the honours.


Fortunately for the Italian he got the better of goalkeeper Cenk Gonen, saving him from the ultimate humiliation. Working as a pundit on ITV for this game, Gerrard made his thoughts clear on the situation after the full-time whistle.


“Jordan should have taken the penalty. Rules are rules. It should have been Henderson. Mario has been a bit mischievous. Credit to Mario, but it’s not nice to see when footballers are arguing. I think Jordan has handled the situation very well. He can see that Mario really wanted to score.


Jordan walked away at the right moment and handled his post-match interview very well. Jordan is the captain and Mario showed Jordan a bit of disrespect there, but he’s scored a very important goal. I think six or seven players would have wanted to take that penalty, so if they all say they are taking it, what happens then? Rules are in place for a reason.”


Supporters needn’t worry about incidents of this nature for as long as Milner is at the club: individual acts go against everything he represents. Jermaine Jenas described the 37-year-old as a ‘scary professional’ during BT Sport’s live coverage of Saturday’s game versus Bournemouth, a statement few could argue against.




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