Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola said that he has apologised to Gabriel Jesus after Riyad Mahrez took the late penalty against Liverpool at Anfield yesterday. Manchester City won a penalty in the 86th minute after Virgil van Dijk fouled Leroy Sane in the penalty area. Jesus wanted to take the penalty but Guardiola wanted Mahrez to take it. Mahrez’s shot went over the bar.
The match eventually ended 0-0. After the match, Guardiola said, “Gabriel wanted to take the penalty. I apologised. It was my decision. During the training sessions every day I see Mahrez every day taking the penalties and it gave me a lot of confidence. It will be good experience for him, next time it will go in. He had the courage to hit the penalty.”
Yesterday’s miss was the 5th time out of 8 attempts that Riyad Mahrez missed a penalty. However, the Algerian winger said that this miss will not affect his confidence.
Mahrez said, “It won’t affect me at all. Everyone misses penalties, even big, big players. Of course I wanted to score to help the team to win. I made the decision to shoot in the middle – the ball went up. Now I have to look forward. It’s part of football – sometimes you score, sometimes you miss.”
The draw extends Manchester City’s win drought at Anfield with May, 2003 being the last time Manchester City won a game at Anfield. City, Liverpool and Chelsea are all with 20 points right now with City leading the table due to a superior goal-difference. Manchester City next play Burnley on October 20.