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Mignolet vs Neuer - Do the stats suggest Neville's criticism was fair?

We compare the performances of Liverpool's Simon Mignolet and Bayern Munich's Manuel Neuer in the Champions League this week.

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Gary Neville's dissection of Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet's performances on Monday night is a piece of analysis which has been widely documented.

The Sky Sports pundit took apart Mignolet's displays for the Reds, suggesting that he had problems for his technique and was below the top-level stoppers in Europe.

The former Manchester United defender commented on Mignolet's problems after spotting that he stays too low for long-range shots and he felt that he should have stopped Phil Jagielka's stunning long-range effort which rescued a draw for Everton in the Merseyside derby at the weekend.

“I am ready for the pelters that will come my way because this is slightly controversial but I think Mignolet has got to do better," he said on Sky Sports.

“I think he should save it. I would want my goalkeeper to save it.”

Neville went on further to compare Mignolet's positioning to that of the goalkeeper who is widely regarded as the finest in Europe in Manuel Neuer.

The Bayern Munich stopper was shown to make a number of saves from similar shots to the one which Jagielka hit and it highlighted the disparity between the pair.

It was a criticism that Mignolet is likely to have heard, given that it has been widely reported, and he had a chance to prove the pundit wrong in Liverpool's Champions League match with Basel last night.

In that game, there was nothing he could have done to stop Marco Streller's goal which won the game, but how did his performance compare to that the one that Neuer put in against Bayern Munich? 

  PositionTeamSavesGood High ClaimKeeper Pick UpAccurate Keeper SweeperAccurate Goal KicksGoal Kick AccuracyAppearancesMins Played
Simon Mignolet GK Liverpool 5 1 6 0 6 75% 1 90
Manuel Neuer GK Munich 3 0 7 2 6 100% 1 90

Mignolet actually did fairly well in the Champions League match, making more saves than Neuer did.

Of course, this can be caveated by the fact that Basel had more shots that CSKA manager against Bayern, but it is a stat which is likely to please Mignolet given the scrutiny he came under in midweek.

In the other areas, though, Neuer edged the battle between the pair.

The German international has made a reputation out of being a brilliant sweeper 'keeper and that skill was once again on display against his side's Swiss opponents, whilst his kicking accuracy was also superb. 

It shows that there are areas that Mignolet will need to improve if he is to get close to Neuer's standard, but he can be fairly pleased with his performance last night - even if the rest of the Reds team fell short. 


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