Riyad Mahrez insists blowing a chance to win the Liverpool vs Manchester City title shootout with a late penalty will not affect him.
The former Leicester star, signed for £60million this summer, stepped up in the 86th minute after Virgil van Dijk brought Leroy Sane down in the box — because the champions’ regular taker Sergio Aguero has already been substituted.
Mahrez could have struck a huge early blow in the championship race but blazed his spot-kick over the crossbar — his fifth miss in eight penalties for City and the Foxes.
“My record is good in the Champions League yes, but not in the Premier League. We have to go forward and stay strong – it’s football, it’s life,” he 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. But the most important part was that our performance was very good today. We deserved to win, but sometimes it’s important not to lose, as well.”
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Boss Pep Guardiola tried to deflect the blame from the Algerian by insisting it was his decision to have him take the penalty, rather than striker Gabriel Jesus — who had started lining it up.
“Jesus wanted to take it, yes, but it was my decision," said Guardiola. "What did I say to him afterwards? Apologise. I apologised, yes of course. It was my decision.
“I sent Benjamin Mendy to tell him, yes, because during the training sessions every day I see Mahrez every time take 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. In the training session, he shoots perfect penalties. In the end, OK, it sometimes happens. In the end, it is what it is.”
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