Jurgen Klopp openly regrets what he told Sadio Mané before his penalty miss in the FA Cup final. The Liverpool boss shares the blame.
Liverpool won the FA Cup final in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out at Wembley last night. It was, in a lot of ways, a repeat of February’s EFL Cup final. The Reds faced Chelsea, both teams played well but couldn’t score, before Liverpool scraped through on penalties.
And scrape through they did. Liverpool had the chance to win it with their fifth penalty after Cesar Azpilicueta missed for Chelsea. Sadio Mané stepped up to finish things off but Edouard Mendy kept out his tame penalty.
But Jurgen Klopp made sure to let people know that he shared the blame for Mané’s missed spot-kick. He’d given him some advice ahead of the shoot-out – advice he feels was ill-advised.
“Sadio’s penalty is for sure at least 50 per cent my responsibility because you have to let the boys do what they think they do,” said Klopp, per Liverpoolfc.com. “But with him I said, ‘He knows you exactly, the goalie, so do the other way around.’
“How very often in my life, I realised it’s better to shut up! But we still made it and honestly, it means the world to us. It’s massive.”
Jurgen Klopp regrets Sadio Mané penalty
It was always an awkward one for Mané as he was up against his Senegal teammate in Mendy. The moment you think the goalkeeper might have an idea of what you’re thinking is the moment you second-guess yourself and mess things up.
And Mané’s penalty wasn’t exactly a great one. Liverpool had some great efforts in this shoot-out but that was probably the weakest. In truth, though, that summed up their no.10’s game. He just wasn’t at his best, being dispossessed eight times at Wembley – four times more than any other player (per Whoscored).
As Klopp says, though, Liverpool still made it and will take the trophy back home. Mané may have had a rare off-night but his form has been so incredible lately that it’s nothing to think twice about.
When the Reds head to Paris, we have no doubt that Mané will have a big part to play.