Mohamed Salah was engulfed in a diving storm as the Liverpool star won the controversial penalty that inspired their 2-0 win over 10-man Crystal Palace on Monday.
Salah was accused of diving by Palace when he tumbled in the penalty area late in the first half at Selhurst Park.
Referee Michael Oliver awarded a spot-kick for Mamadou Sakho’s challenge on the Egypt winger and James Milner converted the penalty.
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, working for Sky Sports, claimed it was a dive, saying. “A lot of people won’t like it. If it’s against you, you’ ll think it’s soft.
“It is a theatrical fall which we’ve seen a lot of players do .”
Adding insult to injury for Palace, Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off in the second half for bringing down Salah as he raced clear.
Taking advantage of their numerical superiority, Jurgen Klopp’s side made sure of extending their 100 percent start to the Premier League season thanks to Sadio Mane’s goal in stoppage-time.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson was furious with the penalty, saying: “My frustration is I don’t think that’s a penalty. It’s cause for anger and disappointment.
“I’ ve been in football a long time. If that’s a penalty the game has changed beyond all recognition.
“Sakho is a defender and he has to try and defend.
“There is no way he is looking to foul the player. Liverpool didn’t deserve to be leading.”
Klopp side-stepped the diving row, claiming he hadn’t seen the incident clearly.
“I didn’t ask Mo about that. I didn’t see it. It looked like it was (a penalty), but I have no idea,” he said.
After Manchester City’s swaggering demolition of Huddersfield on Sunday, it was important for Liverpool to keep pace with the champions, even at this early stage Og the season.
This was a statement win for Klopp’s team, installed as City’s most likely challengers, and they move into second place after building on last weekend’s rout of West Ham. But Klopp refused to talk up Liverpool’s title chances.
Crystal Palace 0
(Milner 45-pen, Mane 90)
From online sources