Liverpool spurned a big chance in the race for automatic qualification for the Champions League yesterday after drawing 0-0 with Southampton – who have been something of a bogey side for the Reds in recent times.
Things looked nice and rosy for Jurgen Klopp’s after the last matchweek, where Liverpool beat Watford courtesy of that sublime Emre Can overhead kick, following Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal dropping points.
But the stalemate with Saints, coupled with City’s 5-0 demolition of Crystal Palace a day earlier, means that Pep Guardiola’s side are now just one point behind, with a game in hand still to play.
Liverpool completely dominated the ball at Anfield, and had eight shots on target, but failed to muster up the final touch and when their efforts were promising, Fraser Forster was there to keep them at bay.
The Southampton goalkeeper did so brilliantly in the 66th minute when he saved a penalty after defender Jack Stephens was deemed to have handled the ball in the area.
James Milner, normally ‘Mr Reliable’ from the spot, stepped up and saw his effort saved by compatriot Forster, who guessed right and got down low.
You have to go as far back as November 2009 to find the last time former Manchester City man failed to find the net from a spot-kick in the league.
And it appeared as though some mind games from Forster threw him off his game as he prepared to shoot from 12 yards.
Check out this clip of Forster as Milner is getting ready to take the penalty:
#Milner‘s missed penalty! 😱
— Rush Football (@RushFootball_) May 7, 2017
Cheeky from the former Celtic shotstopper, who clearly has a few words for Milner, as well as proceeding to make a bit of a dint on the penalty spot.
And while Milner didn’t balloon his effort over, Forster guessed correctly and produced his first ever penalty save in the Premier League at the ninth time of asking. The 28-year old was also the first opposition goalkeeper to thwart a Liverpool player from the spot at Anfield since Rob Green denied Steven Gerrard at the back-end of the 2014/15 season.
Next up for Liverpool is a trip to the London Stadium to take on West Ham next Sunday, while Southampton host Arsenal in a midweek clash at St Mary’s on Wednesday.