Liverpool’s penalty shootout victory over Chelsea in yesterday’s FA Cup Final was the second time this season the Reds overcame the Blues in spot-kicks in a cup final after a similar shootout victory in February’s League Cup Final.
Across those two shootouts, Liverpool’s penalty takers scored on 17 of their 18 attempts. Even if the odds are heavily stacked for the shooter on a penalty kick, that’s a remarkable return. Manager Jürgen Klopp provided a bit of insight on why the Reds were so successful from the penalty spot in his post-match press conference.
“We got in touch with a company, neur11, and they said they can train penalty shooting. I said ‘really?’ They worked with us. This trophy is for them, too.”
While he didn’t elaborate on how exactly neur11 helped, it’s clear that whatever they did worked.
Interestingly, Klopp also admitted he was partly to blame for the single miss across the two shootouts with Chelsea. He took some responsibility for Sadio Mané’s shot being saved when Liverpool had a chance to end last night’s shootout on the fifth kick.
“Sadio’s penalty is for sure at least 50 percent my responsibility because you have to let the boys do what they think they do, but with him, I said, ‘He knows you exactly, the goalie, so do the other way around.’”
“How very often in my life, I realized it’s better to shut up! But we still made it and honestly, it means the world to us.”