MIL­NER TAKES

De­fender both­ered by missed penalty

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LIVER­POOL

JAMES Mil­ner ac­cepted the blame for Liver­pool’s dam­ag­ing 0-0 draw against Southamp­ton af­ter his penalty was saved by Fraser Forster.

Mil­ner saw his sec­ond half spot-kick su­perbly saved by Forster, who plunged to his right to keep out the Liver­pool de­fender’s strike.

It was Mil­ner’s first penalty miss since 2009 and Liver­pool were un­able to make amends as Jur­gen Klopp’s side wasted a chance to con­sol­i­date their place in the Pre­mier League’s top four.

“It’s very frus­trat­ing. Ob­vi­ously the penalty is my fault and the fact we didn’t get three points is def­i­nitely my fault. I have to live with that,” Mil­ner said.

“Fraser is a top keeper but you have to take those chances.”

Forster spoke to Mil­ner be­fore the penalty, pos­si­bly in a bid to play mind games with his for­mer New­cas­tle team­mate.

But Mil­ner in­sisted that was no ex­cuse for the miss.

“I’ve been around long enough to make sure that doesn’t worry me. I can’t do any more than hold my hands up,” he said.

“The penalty was a big chance and we didn’t take it. We have to win our re­main­ing two games and see if it’s good enough,” Mil­ner said.

Liver­pool boss Klopp in­sisted Mil­ner shouldn’t be sin­gled out for blame be­cause his side had squan­dered other chances to score.

“He should not blame him­self that is foot­ball. Him scor­ing would have helped of course but that is not the only de­ci­sive thing to­day,” he said.

“I thought our per­for­mance was good enough to win. Southamp­ton wanted to come here and some­how get a point.

“It is not fin­ished yet. We all have to play our games. We go to West Ham and try to win and that’s all we can do.”

Liver­pool had failed to score against Southamp­ton in their three pre­vi­ous en­coun­ters this sea­son, once in the Pre­mier League and in both legs of their League Cup semi-fi­nal tie, and the open­ing stages of this game con­tained very lit­tle at­tack­ing am­bi­tion from ei­ther side.

In fact, this match fur­thered the idea that Liver­pool strug­gle against Pre­mier League sides of a lesser cal­i­bre, es­pe­cially those teams that look to do lit­tle else but cling on for a point, as Southamp­ton did for most of this match.

Liver­pool got the op­por­tu­nity they needed to pun­ish Southamp­ton in the 66th minute as Jack Stephens el­bowed away the ball in­side the area af­ter chal­leng­ing Origi

It was well spot­ted by ref­eree Bobby Madley and al­though Mil­ner's spot-kick was right in the cor­ner, Forster did well to get down and palm the ef­fort away.

The pas­sion­ate way Southamp­ton's play­ers cel­e­brated the fine save was also an in­di­ca­tor of how des­per­ate they were to hold on for a point. AFP

AP PIC

Liver­pool’s James Mil­ner takes a penalty which was saved by Southamp­ton goal­keeper Fraser Forster in their Pre­mier League match against at An­field yes­ter­day.

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