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How Kasper Schmeichel took after his father in his preparation for Mo Salah’s penalty

Kasper Schmeichel saves from Mo Salah.

Kasper Schmeichel is the toast of Leicester City after his penalty save from Mo Salah helped the Foxes to a 1-0 win over Liverpool on Tuesday night.

16 minutes into the game at the King Power Stadium, Schmeichel was faced with the daunting prospect of facing Salah from 12 yards, with the Egyptian having scored his previous 15 Premier League penalties.

Kasper Schmeichel: “I had a feeling.”

However, the Danish stopper was equal to Salah’s effort, diving to his right to keep it out before the forward headed the rebound onto the crossbar. It was a missed opportunity that Salah and Liverpool would rue, after Ademola Lookman sealed the three points for Leicester with his second half strike.

You would think that saving a penalty from a striker as lethal as Salah would have taken plenty of prior research into the 29-year-old’s technique, but not according to Schmeichel, who was asked about it afterwards.

“No, not at all,” Schmeichel said when as if he had studied Salah’s penalties. “I had a feeling. Went with it.”

 

Kasper takes after his dad with Salah save.

This fairly lax approach to penalty preparation seems unusual in the modern game but you can’t forget that Schmeichel has been learning from of the best for his entire life, with his father Peter still remembered as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all-time.

Peter Schmeichel saved his fair share of penalties over the years but, like his son, he saw little value in preparing for a situation that may not even occur, and preferred to make his decisions in the moment.

“You are completely out of control and control is the one thing that you always want to have,” the elder Schmeichel writes in his recently-released autobiography One.

“It may work for other keepers but for me, research on the opposition takers is pointless.

Peter Schmeichel

“With all that info, you still have no control.”

Specifically referring to penalty shootouts, he continues: “If a coach ran up to me with a list – ‘this is where so-and-so puts it 57% of the time,’ ‘such-and-such has missed 24% of his last year’s penalties’ – I’d want to kill him on the spot.

“The taker can change their mind. With all that info, you still have no control – only muddled thinking now.”

While Kasper has always been keen to play down comparisons with his father, it certain aspects of their goalkeeping, it’s clear that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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