SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

Mo Salah explains penalty miss – and why he changed his boots at half-time!

Mohamed Salah has revealed that he changed his boots at half-time in Liverpool’s 4-2 win over Newcastle as he didn’t want his missed penalty to affect him.

Salah and his team-mates recovered from a frustrating half, compounded by his penalty saved by Martin Dubravka, to overwhelm Newcastle for a 4-2 win.

The No. 11 went on to net his 150th Premier League goal for the club shortly after half-time and then score at his second attempt from the spot, as well as assisting for Cody Gakpo.

It was a timely display from Salah given he is now set to depart for what could be over a month for the Africa Cup of Nations.

And speaking to Sky Sports after the game, he revealed his determination at not signing off with a dud.

“The players said in the dressing room, ‘we have to stay calm, we just have to play our football’,” he explained of half-time.

“We missed a lot of chances anyway, I missed the penalty, after I was like ‘OK, you’re going to leave for the national team with that performance? Not really!’.

“So I had to just really focus and just step up and try to make a difference. I managed to do so.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, January 1, 2024: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC on New Year's Day at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Part of that was a change of boots, spotted by Jamie Carragher in the Sky Sports studio, with Salah admitting he did so to avoid it playing on his mind.

“The other one I missed the penalty with, I just trained with it yesterday,” he said.

“It’s not superstition because I play with many boots, but when I feel like it’s going to play in my head – ‘OK, out, change the boot’.

“I don’t like to have that going into the second half, ‘this one I didn’t score with yet’. No, change, keep my mind calm and just focus on the game.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, January 1, 2024: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring the fourth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC on New Year's Day at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

That was no less demonstrated by the difference in his finishes from the spot, with Salah giving his reason for failing to convert the first.

“I’m calm, I try to do my job. I always practise,” he insisted.

“The first one I was confused in the way that I saw the goalkeeping coach from outside waiting for him on one side, I was like ‘OK, let’s go in the middle’, then he managed to save it very well.

“Then the second one I was just like ‘OK, this is what I did in training’, I just carried on and did my thing.”