Manchester United expected to fear Liverpool role reversal as Mohamed Salah candidacy emerges


It has become one of the oldest jokes in English football: if it’s Manchester United, then it must be a penalty.
Bitter rivals North West Liverpool have profited from kicks in recent years to such an extent that even Jurgen Klopp was moved last week to point it out.

No Premier League team has received more penalties than United since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took control in December 2018.

The rest is not even close.

Liverpool, however, are the one moving closer to an important landmark when the teams meet in Sunday’s block clash at Anfield.

And United will have every reason to be wary.

The Reds have had six penalties this season – compared to United’s 11 – the most recent of which was at Craven Cottage in December.

When Mohamed Salah propelled his shot from the 12-yard bar past Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, it was the 21st consecutive penalty – in open play – that Liverpool had managed to convert.

This brought them closer to the club’s record, set between September 1986 and April 1988.

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Liverpool’s streak included six penalties from James Milner, one from Roberto Firmino, with the remaining 14 being converted by Salah.

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

Salah himself has now registered 15 consecutive penalties since his kick against Huddersfield Town at Anfield was saved by Jonas Lossl in October 2017. It was also the last time Liverpool missed the Premier League – a streak of 18 conversions.

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The Egyptian, however, has a bit of a way to go before he even matches the club’s record for a player scoring the most consecutive kicks, with Jan Molby scoring twice 18 times in a row on either side of a failure against Chelsea in December 1989.

By the way, since Liverpool last missed a penalty, their total of 21 ground kicks is paltry compared to the 45 awarded to United in the same period, of which seven were dismissed.

United can get the best chances from 12 yards. Visitors, however, will surely be afraid of Liverpool’s cruelty from where Whey makes the short trip down East Lancs Road next weekend.


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