Football

Mignolet: I didn't hear referee's whistle

Liverpool goalkeeper on conceding free-kick by David Luiz

Simon Mignolet went from zero to hero as Liverpool prevented Chelsea from significantly extending their lead at the Premier League summit in a 1-1 draw at Anfield yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Belgian goalkeeper was caught daydreaming as David Luiz put Chelsea ahead with a first-half free-kick, but after Georginio Wijnaldum equalised, his penalty save in the 76th minute denied Diego Costa 
a winner.

After the match, Mignolet claimed that he did not hear the referee's whistle before Luiz's spectacular strike.

He was marshalling his defensive wall, and was rooted to the spot when the shot whizzed past him in the 25th minute.

The 28-year-old told BT Sport: "I didn't hear the whistle and then he (Luiz) hits it early.

FREE-KICK

"It is a difficult feeling because it was a good free-kick, but you want to give yourself a chance of saving it and that didn't happen today."

The custodian's lack of concentration irked former Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard.

"Surely after the game, he is going to hold his hands up for this," said Gerrard, who started his new role as Liverpool Academy coach yesterday.

"He's not read it and he's trying to push his backline out when he should have his eye on the free-kick taker because the whistle clearly gets blown.

He should have his eye on the free-kick taker because the whistle clearly gets blown Pool legend Gerrard on Mignolet

"Everyone can hear it and Simon's just in no man's land, basically."

Liverpool boss Juergen Klopp, however, was quick to defend Mignolet, saying that it probably wouldn't have mattered whether the player had heard Mark Clattenburg's whistle.

Said Klopp: "You have to say we have to be prepared but he (Mignolet) was obviously surprised. Yes, maybe if he was not surprised, he could have saved it but even if he was prepared, it would have been difficult because it was right in the corner."

But Mignolet had the final say in the game, after Joel Matip fouled Costa to concede a late penalty.

He dived to his right to shovel away the Chelsea striker's poorly struck spot-kick to ensure the Reds grab a share of the spoils. - WIRE SERVICES

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