Leicesters James Maddison had message for Mohamed Salah before Liverpool penalty miss

In pictures: Liverpool v Leicester

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James Maddison was caught whispering something into Mohamed Salah’s ear before the Liverpool star’s first-half penalty miss against Leicester City on Tuesday. The Reds travelled to the King Power Stadium looking to apply further pressure on Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Liverpool were expected to make a controlled start to the game count after Wilfred Ndidi felled Salah inside the box after 15 minutes.

The 29-year-old confidently stepped up to take and score his 16th league goal of the 2021/2022 season.

But he started his run-up on the edge of the penalty area, which allowed Maddison to take a step forward and tell him something beforehand.

And Salah subsequently produced a tame penalty to Kasper Schmeichel’s right, saved by the Denmark goalkeeper, and he headed the rebound onto the crossbar before Leicester cleared their lines.

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Salah’s miss was unsurprisingly a surprise, not just because of his relentless goalscoring exploits this term but also his impressive penalty record.

The Egypt international had converted 24 of his 28 career spot-kicks for club and country, including 19 from 21 for Liverpool.

And whether Maddison words just seconds before his miss played with his mind remains to be seen.

But it added to Liverpool’s frustration as the first half finished goalless, despite the visitors’ 61 per cent possession and 11 shots.

Maddison has been significantly helping Leicester apart from putting off opponents before penalties this season.

The 25-year-old playmaker has rediscovered his mojo, registering five goals and four assists in his last seven games in all competitions.

Brendan Rodgers will hope he can inspire Leicester to snatch something from Jurgen Klopp’s rampant side in the second half.

The Foxes have won just one of their last six outings and shipped six goals at Man City last time out.

If Liverpool can find a winner before full-time, they will close the gap on City back to just three points.

Pep Guardiola’s men travel to Brentford on Wednesday, which will leave the Reds with a game in hand again.

The Anfield club’s Boxing Day clash with Leeds United was postponed due to Covid cases in the latter’s camp.

But Klopp will hope it won’t hinder his side’s momentum, amid a run of nine wins in the last 10 games, drawing the other at Tottenham Hotspur in their previous league fixture.

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