Keeper record first save of its kind; Rakitic wanted as part of Coutinho deal

Afternoon Bulletin

Simon Mignolet extends impressive spot-kick record with first save of its kind

Simon Mignolet’s penalty save against Hoffenheim saw him extend his impressive record against spot-kicks on Tuesday night. The Belgium shot-stopper has now saved a whopping seven from 20 spot-kicks.

The first of the saves was from his Liverpool debut with a last-gasp penalty save against Stoke City four years ago, he has gone on to keep out a further six boosting a 35 per cent success rate in penalties he has faced since becoming the most expensive goalkeeper in Reds history back in 2013.

The save from Andrej Kramaric’s weakly-struck penalty would arguably be the easiest save he made out of the seven. The save was the first of its kind in Mignolet’s Reds career as the previous saves from the spot have seen Mignolet dive to his right, but the stop on Tuesday night came from his left side.

“Simon together with (goalkeeping coach) John Achterberg did a really good job (with the video analysis),” said Klopp after the game, and homework is something the Reds keeper admits is vital behind his success from the spot.

Mignolet said earlier this month: “I’m a specialist in penalties, but I have to give credit to the analysts at the club.

“They give us the bio of the [taker] before the game and the insight.

“At the end of the day you have to keep it out and I’ve managed to do that, but the information before the game is priceless. We have great analysts working at the club.”

Liverpool want Rakitic to be part of Coutinho deal to Barcelona

According to latest reports coming out of Spain, Liverpool will consider selling Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona if they include Ivan Rakitic as part of the deal. Jurgen Klopp would like to team him with Jordan Henderson and Emre Can, who now looks set to remain at Anfield after Juventus closed out a deal with PSG for Blaise Matuidi.

Rakitic recently signed a new deal at Barcelona but is believed to be concerned about his future now that new boss Ernesto Valverde is at the head of team affairs. The 29-year-old appears to be open to a move away from the Camp Nou.

Coutinho submitted a transfer request last week and other reports suggest that he’s prepared to go on strike to join Barcelona and has told Klopp that he will never pull on a Liverpool jersey again.