KYLE WALKER believes he had his famous World Cup cramp meme to thank for his incredible goal-line clearance during Manchester City’s Community Shield win over Liverpool.
The 29-year-old became the latest England star for Pep Guardiola’s side to make a match-saving last-ditch challenge against the Reds with his acrobatic effort.
Raheem Sterling had opened the scoring against the club where he made his name, before Joel Matip levelled the scores late on to threaten penalties.
Mohamed Salah had a glorious chance to snatch the win for Liverpool in the dying minutes after Nicolas Otamendi’s error left him through on goal.
The Egyptian saw his first effort saved by goalkeeper Claudio Bravo before his rebound header was scooped over the bar by a recovering Walker.
City then lifted the Community Shield after the season’s curtain-raiser went to penalties, with Georginio Wijnaldum missing the vital spot-kick for the Reds.
And fans were indebted to Walker’s heroic airborne rescue with one tweeting: “That’s just as good as a goal tbh…”
While another said: “I’ve never seen a clearance that spectacular!”
Walker himself later attributed his bicycle clearance to his “#Kyling” finally paying off on the pitch.
The former Spurs star started the bizarre trend during last summer’s World Cup after painful cramp meant he could not celebrate Eric Dier’s historic winning penalty against Colombia.
Walker’s clearance was the latest in a game of margins between City and Liverpool after Virgil van Dijk had come millimetres away from scoring earlier in the match.
Back in January John Stones famously denied Liverpool the lead against City by just 11mm after Sadio Mane had initially hit the post.
Most Read in Football
The England star then got back into position and proceeded to hoof the ball away, but he smashed the clearance against Ederson.
The ball then bounced towards the goal as Stones hurtled back to get in before Mo Salah – somehow stopping it from crossing the line.
City ultimately won the game 2-1 inflicting Livberpool’s only league loss of the season as they pipped their rivals to the Premier League title by a solitary point.