Penalty Shootout – Does a shortage of penalties impact Liverpool?


Jurgen Klopp has spoken about the lack of penalties awarded to his Liverpool side relative to rivals Manchester United – but is he right? In Monday night’s defeat of Southampton, Klopp was angry that Sadio Mane was denied a penalty, saying: “I hear now that Man United have had more penalties in two years than I’ve had in five and a half.”
Here, PA news agency analyzes the recent penalty records of the two teams. Manchester United and Bruno Fernandes had plenty of opportunities from the penalty spot (Carl Recine/PA) Although Klopp’s argument is not completely correct, the German is only marginally exaggerating. Since taking office in October 2015, five years and three months ago, Liverpool has been awarded 30 penalties. Overall, since Klopp’s arrival on Merseyside, United has been awarded 41 penalties, 11 more than Liverpool, with the two teams ranked third and fifth among all Premier League clubs at that time, respectively. Liverpool trail Manchester United in penalties since the arrival of Jürgen Klopp (PA graphic) Leicester leads the way with 45, ahead of Manchester City with 43, while Crystal Palace is between Unite Palace In both of the last two seasons, United have had double digits – 14 last season and 12 in 2018/19 – while only the Foxes had more than their six this season. With five this season, Liverpool is only one behind their rivals – but that already matches the sum of last season, while they had seven the previous season. Penalty pointsFor Liverpool, Mohamed Salah’s penalties were important, never more so than in the opening win over Leeds (Phil Noble/PA) One thing that contradicts Klopp’s claim is the effect of this season’s penalties on the league table. Once again, his reigning champions led United on goal differential, having played another game, but were wide beneficiaries of penalty choices. Liverpool will drop to sixth place if penalty kicks were subtracted – five points worse off. Thanks to two penalty goals from Mohamed Salah, they won 4-3 against Leeds and 2-1 against West Ham, with the late penalty from Pascal Gross preventing the victory against Brighton. Salah’s goals against Manchester City and Fulham in the 1-1 draw came from the penalty spot as well. In fact, City would leap to the top of this hypothetical table, while United would stay second but drop three points. The Reds will also fall behind Tottenham, Southampton and Leicester, although the latter have only missed eight penalties in 10 attempts this season. James Milner, left, has also been effective from the penalty spot (Peter Byrne/PA). The accuracy of Liverpool in converting penalties suggests that these accidents play an important role in scoring. With Salah and James Milner scoring consistently, Liverpool converted 28 of the 30 penalties given under Klopp and each of the last 18. Thanks to Bruno Fernandes and replacement goalkeeper Marcus Rashford, United have scored 12 of their last 13 penalties, but just 30 of 41 since Klopp came to the Premier League – partially because in 2019, Rashford, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial managed to score only one of five penalties.


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