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Simon Mignolet Talks Penalty Saves

After Mignolet’s game-saving penalty stop against Diego Costa on Tuesday, the keeper spoke about his preparation before the game.

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Middlesbrough v Liverpool - Premier League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Simon Mignolet announced himself to Liverpool fans back in August 2013 by saving a penalty against Stoke City that would have cost the Reds two points and their first win of the season. He made another such save against Diego Costa when Liverpool took on Chelsea on Tuesday.

Conceding another goal would have meant losing the match, and ending a dreadful January on an even more dreadful note. So while it wasn’t quite ‘first game of the season’ heroics, the boost in morale it provided the team — not to mention the point on the table — could go some way helping Liverpool’s top four ambitions.

Regarding the save, Mignolet said: "It was actually one of the first chances I had to save a penalty at the Kop end. Just before that, Eden Hazard, who's normally the penalty taker for Chelsea, had gone off as a substitute, so it was going to be Diego Costa.

"We prepared all week for Hazard but luckily I chose the right way and managed to keep it out because it was one of those where it could easily have crept under me, it was quite close to my body."

While preparation is important in these situations, luck is moreso, something that the keeper is well aware of.

"It depends if you've faced one before that or somebody's got a favourite side,” he continued.

"You can sometimes say a little thing to put them off but most of these penalty takers have a routine and they're so confident in their own abilities otherwise they wouldn't be taking penalties.

"First of all, you have to know and pick the right angle, then the timing has to be right, and then you're a bit dependent on how the penalty has actually been taken. In the end, it's a bit of luck to keep it out."

Luck was something Liverpool had been lacking last month and looking to get back. Hopefully, as with Mignolet’s first save all those years ago before the Reds went on their title-chasing run, this one too portents good things for the future.

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