Manchester United should fear Liverpool role-reversal as Mohamed Salah bid emerges – Liverpool Echo

It has become one of English football’s longest-running jokes: if it’s Manchester United, then it must be a penalty.

Liverpool’s bitter North West rivals have benefited from spot kicks in recent years to such an extent that even Jurgen Klopp was last week moved to point out the fact.

No Premier League team has been awarded more penalties than United since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer assumed control in December 2018.

The rest aren’t even close.

Liverpool, though, are the ones closing in on a significant spot-kick landmark when the teams meet in Sunday’s blockbusting clash at Anfield.

And United will have every reason to be wary.

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

When Mohamed Salah powered his shot from the 12-yard mark beyond Fulham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, it was the 21st consecutive penalty – in open play – that Liverpool had successfully converted.

It moved them level with the club record, which was set between September 1986 and April 1988.

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Liverpool’s sequence has included six penalties from James Milner, one from Roberto Firmino with the remaining 14 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.

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Salah himself has now netted 15 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 18 conversions.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah

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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.

Incidentally, in the time since Liverpool last missed a penalty, their total of 21 spot kicks pales in comparison to the 45 awarded to United during the same period, of which seven were spurned.

United may get the greater opportunities from 12 yards. The visitors, though, will surely be fearful of Liverpool’s ruthlessness from the spot whey make the short journey down the East Lancs Road next weekend.