Coach Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool has insisted that goals from spot-kicks are as important as other types of goals as his team had to depend on a penalty to defeat Aston Villa at Anfield on Saturday, December 11, 2021.
On the said date, the Premier League witnessed a rain of penalties as almost all the top clubs that played their league games had to depend on spot-kicks to grab the three maximum points.
Recall that Manchester City defeated Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-0 at the City of Manchester Stadium on Saturday via Raheem Sterling’s 66th-minute spot-kick.
Chelsea hosted Leeds United at Stamford Bridge and Jorginho had to score two spot-kicks in the 58th and 94th minute to give Chelsea a 3-2 win over their visitors.
In the same vein, Manchester United visited Norwich City on Saturday and Cristiano Ronaldo could not perform any magic until the 75th minute when he gave United a 1-0 win via a penalty.
On the same day, Steven Gerrard led Aston Villa to Anfield, a stadium where he played most of his football career. He received a legendary welcome from the club’s fans before the home fans turned against Villa.
Gerrard proved that he did not come to Anfield for a welcome back party but to win or draw the Premier League game by structuring his team in such a way that Liverpool found it difficult to break Villa’s defense. Unfortunately for his players that gave a very good account of themselves, Mohamed Salah won a penalty for Liverpool.
When the referee awarded Liverpool a spot-kick, the home fans that were anxiously waiting for a goal for over one hour of the game celebrated the referee’s decision but coach Jurgen Klopp stayed calm.
As expected, Salah who has scored 14 goals so far this season, stepped up and scored the penalty in the 67th minute. The goal was all Liverpool needed to steal the three maximum points.
After the game, coach Jurgen Klopp said he decided not to celebrate when the referee decided to award Liverpool a spot-kick because there was still a possibility that the goalkeeper could save the spot-kick.
The German tactician insisted that some penalty situations are more difficult to convert than some other types of goals, adding that penalty count as other types of goals.
“I hate that people start celebrating that moment,” coach Jurgen Klopp said. “There is still a possible goalkeeper save and I am really happy that we think it has the exact same importance as every other goal.
“There are goals during a season that are much easier than a penalty, scored from two yards from a square ball or whatever, so if somebody says they don’t count the same then I don’t understand it, they count exactly the same and they should always.”
The 1-0 win over Aston Villa helped Liverpool to maintain their second spot on the league table with 37 points in 16 games, a point behind first-place Manchester City, and a point above third-placed Chelsea.
📺 Jurgen Klopp on Steven Gerrard:— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) December 10, 2021
"It's not easy for a world-class player to become an outstanding manager, but it's possible. He has all the skills you need." 🔴 pic.twitter.com/hol4ln2JLg