‘I’ve seen Salah do this time and time again’: Graeme Souness claims Liverpool star DIVED to win penalty to help Jurgen Klopp’s side reclaim top spot with victory over West Ham
- Liverpool have moved to the top of the Premier League after beating West Ham
- A penalty from Mohamed Salah and Diogo Jota’s last strike settled the clash
- But Salah has been accused of diving to win the home side the first half spot kick
- Graeme Souness believes he simulated his fall and has done so more than once
The Egyptian forward stepped up to fire home a penalty in the first half and level the scores at Anfield – but the circumstances in which the spot kick was awarded have divided opinion.
Salah tangled with Arthur Masuaku inside the box and went to the turf with referee Kevin Friend’s decision soon rubber-stamped after a VAR check.
Mohamed Salah has been accused of diving by Liverpool icon Graeme Souness on Saturday
Souness (above) believes Salah fell unnaturally during Liverpool’s victory against West Ham
The intervention was not overruled because it was not considered to be a clear and obvious error from the officials.
The converted penalty set Liverpool on course for the positive result, although Souness believes the occasion was marred by what he fervently believes to have been simulation.
He told Sky Sports: ‘I don’t give that if I’m a referee in the Premier League. I’ve seen Salah do this time and time again.
Salah went to ground under pressure from Arthur Masuaku and Kevin Friend gave the spot kick
‘This is totally an unnatural way to fall. Look, he doesn’t actually kick him, the West Ham player makes contact with his ankle.
‘I think it’s careless and given an enormous invitation for Salah to throw himself to the ground.
‘For me I think it’s a really harsh penalty and that’s coming from a Liverpool supporter.’
Close-up footage of the incident show clear contact from Masuaku on Salah’s leg, but the manner of the forward’s exaggerated fall has resulted in widespread accusations of diving.
Replays showed Masuaku made contact with Salah’s leg although his fall has been criticised
Masuaku appealed to the officials after the penalty was awarded and ratified by a VAR check
Micah Richards, also a Sky Sports pundit and Sportsmail columnist, believes it is the rash challenge from the defender which resulted in West Ham’s downfall, however, rather than any poor sportsmanship.
‘Masuaku does not need to do that there,’ he said. ‘Whether you think it’s a penalty or not, the referee is there to judge whether he thinks it’s a penalty.
‘He’s making the referee’s decision for him. He doesn’t need to do it.’
Liverpool were able to match the club’s record of a 63-game unbeaten streak at Anfield. Diogo Jota netted the winner late on, his third successive game with a home goal, after being played into the box through Xherdan Shaqiri’s inch-perfect pass.