Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has pointed out that Kobe Bryant holds the record for the most missed shots in the NBA in an attempt to defend Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane following Leicester City defeat.
Liverpool suffered their second Premier League defeat of the season against Leicester on Tuesday. The likes of Salah and Mane failed to take their chances on the night, but Ademola Lookman did and earned the Foxes a 1-0 win.
Salah had a penalty saved by Kasper Schmeichel in the first half of the game, while Mane missed a glorious chance in the 55th minute. The Liverpool duo became the subject of criticism after the Reds returned from the King Power Stadium empty-handed.
Liverpool manager Klopp has now come to Salah and Mane's defence. The German tactician explained that setbacks are something elite athletes like the two constantly face in their careers.
Klopp even cited how late basketball superstar Kobe Bryant is known for missing the highest number of chances in the NBA. He was quoted as saying by The Guardian:
“Top, top, top-class players deal constantly with failure. That’s our life. That’s what you learn pretty early as a footballer. The better you are, the more often you will fail because you come constantly in these decisive moments."
“None of us has ever succeeded in all difficult situations. That’s how it is. Kobe Bryant is still the player with the most missed situations in NBA history and he is one of the greatest players ever."
“You have to try it. You have to come in these situations and then you can fail. If you fail there, no problem, go again and everything will be fine. That is pretty much the mindset Mo is in and Sadio as well.”
It remains to be seen how Salah and Mane will bounce back from their disappointment against Leicester.
Liverpool will be without Klopp against Chelsea
Liverpool will be looking to return to winning ways when they lock horns with Chelsea later today. However, Klopp will not be on the touchline for the Reds after testing positive for COVID.
Meanwhile, the clash against Chelsea will be Salah, Mane and Naby Keita's final game for Liverpool before heading out for the African Cup of Nations. The trio will link up with their respective national teams after the trip to Stamford Bridge.
Salah and Mane will be determined to help Liverpool bounce back from their defeat to Leicester before flying to Cameroon.