Over the past few years, Jürgen Klopp’s men have become very good at penalties, and especially in penalty kicks.
Last season, the Reds won their fourth straight when Derby were knocked out of the League Cup. Before that, there were also victories against Chelsea in both the FA Cup final and the League Cup final, as well as an 8-7 victory against Leicester in the quarter-final a few months before that.
The last loss came in the fourth round in the autumn of the 2020/21 season, over three years ago. The status is six wins in the last eight, in a part of the game many would claim is about chance.
Cody Gakpo, who joined Liverpool in the January window last season, has spoken about how the Liverpool players practice taking penalty kicks.
– In Liverpool, they measure brain activity during penalty kicks. It is done with the help of a hat with electrodes on the head, he told Algemeen Dagblad in connection with the national team meeting.
This is perhaps the headgear the attacking player is talking about in the interview:
With the help of the electrodes on the head, the players get tips on when they are most stressed in a penalty situation, and how to deal with it. Many people like to take their time, while others want to get it done as quickly as possible. In a part of the game that is mostly about the mental side, Liverpool do a lot to keep the players’ heads cool.
– You gain insight into how stress affects the brain, and they try to help you keep control. You can’t imitate everything when you practice it of course, because there is always pressure and you can always miss.
The focus on the mental aspect of a penalty shootout has clearly done wonders for Klopp’s men, who can hardly remember the last time they lost one. Liverpool also have several who are good at taking them, including Cody Gakpo, who recently scored on one for the Netherlands.
– There are never guarantees, but you can still do quite a lot. At least I’m not afraid of taking a penalty, he concluded.
In the 2023/24 season, Liverpool have been awarded four penalties, and Mohamed Salah has taken them all. The Egyptian has scored on three and missed on one. With participation in the League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League, several penalty kick competitions may also appear this season.