Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp is searching for answers at Liverpool. AFP/DARREN STAPLES

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has given a strange reason why Mohamed Salah missed his penalty in their defeat at Bournemouth.

Salah failed to score from the spot as Liverpool suffered a 1-0 loss at Vitality Stadium to Bournemouth in the Premier League on Saturday. An error from centre-back Virgil van Dijk saw Liverpool concede a goal in the 28th minute, but Klopp's side did not manage to find an equaliser as they lost for the eighth time in the league this season.

Liverpool had a golden opportunity to equalise in the 68th minute when Bournemouth's Adam Smith blocked Liverpool forward Diogo Jota's goal-bound header with his arm. The referee handed Liverpool a penalty after a thorough VAR check.

Unfortunately, Salah struck a wide effort over the bar. The missed spot kick was the first penalty awarded to Liverpool in the 2022-23 Premier League season, having last received one in April 2022.

In a post-match interview on Saturday, Klopp hinted that the long wait was a key factor behind Salah's bad effort from the spot.

"The last penalty we got, I don't know when it was, in the league at least, it was long ago. It's obviously... yep. It's completely hypothetical that if we score there the game could turn but it doesn't make the performance better it could change the result at least. That's it. He scores a lot of goals but missed a penalty but that's life," Klopp told reporters.

Just last week, Salah became Liverpool's all-time scorer in the Premier League. He scored twice as Liverpool tormented Manchester United 7-0 at Anfield.

With regards to Liverpool not receiving penalties until Saturday, Klopp pointed out that there were so many occasions when Salah was fouled on and he didn't even get a free kick.

"I think we should have had more penalties; I cannot tell you now when exactly, but there were a lot of situations. It's not important. A situation where Mo Salah is fouled and doesn't get even a free-kick, so you can obviously do everything with Mo on the pitch like holding and stuff like this and he doesn't get [a foul]. It's nothing to do with the result, it's just you asked me about the penalties," the German boss added.

'Unusual' for Salah to miss penalty: Joe Cole

Meanwhile, former Liverpool winger Joe Cole also admitted that Salah missing a penalty was "unusual", especially after his performance against Manchester United last Sunday.

"It's so unusual (for him), especially after what he did last week, he'd be brimming with confidence. If anything he's gone too high with it, he's gone to put that right in the old-school stanchion. He didn't need that, the goalie's gone, it's just so unusual for a player of his quality to miss penalties.

"That just summed up Liverpool's day maybe a mentality problem and against the smaller clubs," Cole said.

Meanwhile, Cole also slammed Van Dijk for his mistake that cost Liverpool the game against Bournemouth.

"It's a simple ball over the top. He gets back in but now he needs to switch on, he should be in business. When have we ever seen Virgil van Dijk just stroll past someone in that situation? He just switches it off. Look at that reaction, you don't want that from your captain," added Cole.

The defeat against Bournemouth meant Liverpool missed a chance to move into the top four of the Premier League. Not once have the Reds featured in the top four in the current campaign. Liverpool are placed fifth with 42 points from 26 games.

Liverpool's next game is a big one as they travel to Spain to take on Real Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16 second leg at Santiago Bernabeu. Klopp's side suffered a shocking 2-5 defeat against Los Blancos in the first leg at Anfield.