Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has spoken out over the latest diving storm surrounding Mohamed Salah, on the back of his side’s win over West Ham United.
Jota strikes late
The champions welcomed West Ham to Anfield on Saturday, for their latest Premier League outing.
Despite some abysmal luck on the injury front of late, Liverpool headed into proceedings amid a fine spell of form, which had seen them secure wins in the club’s last 3 outings across all competitions.
The Reds were no doubt aware, though, that West Ham would prove no pushovers, with David Moyes’ men having also thoroughly impressed over recent weeks.
As such, it came as little surprise when Saturday’s action proved hard-fought, with just a solitary goal separating the sides following the full-time whistle.
It was the hosts who came out on top, courtesy of some late brilliance from substitute Diogo Jota.
After Mohamed Salah had cancelled out Pablo Fornals’ early opener late in the first-half, Jota, just minutes after having a go-ahead strike disallowed, struck once again, after being slipped in on goal by fellow sub Xherdan Shaqiri.
Highlights: Liverpool 2-1 West Ham
‘It was a foul…’
An otherwise positive day’s work for Liverpool on Saturday, however, was soured ever so slightly by something of a media storm surrounding Mo Salah.
As outlined above, Egyptian attacker Salah levelled things up versus West Ham, courtesy of a well-struck spot-kick.
The former Roma man was also responsible for earning the penalty, following a challenge from Irons’ stopper Arthur Masuaku in the 40th-minute.
At first glance, it did indeed look as though Masuaku had simply taken Salah out, with a needless challenge from behind.
Upon replays being broadcast, however, it quickly became evident that minimal contact had been made between the pair, with the fall of the Liverpool wide-man having actually had nothing to do with Masuaku’s tackle.
Mo Salah fires #LFC level from the spot! 🎯
Masuaku’s kick on the Egyptian left the referee with no option but to point to the spot! ⚽
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 31, 2020
Nevertheless, by the rules of the game, the awarding of a spot-kick was the correct decision, with contact, however small, having been forthcoming.
And this is precisely what Jurgen Klopp has since been keen to direct attentions towards, in leaping to Salah’s defence.
Speaking to the media on Monday, the Liverpool boss confirmed that he has spoken to his star attacker regarding the incident, before asserting that he in no way ‘understands the criticism’ directed at Salah over the last 48 hours:
‘It was a foul. Believe it or not.’
‘Yesterday I spoke to Mo about how he feels. He has three proper knocks on the foot and one of them is from the penalty situation. There was clear contact.’
‘No, I don’t understand the criticism.’
Klopp on criticism of Salah: “It was a foul. Believe it or not, yesterday I spoke to Mo about how he feels. He has three proper knocks on the foot and one of them is from the penalty situation. There was clear contact. No, I don’t understand the criticism.” #LFC
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) November 2, 2020
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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