Mohamed Salah was caught in a cheat storm as Liverpool made it two Premier League wins out of two against ten-man Crystal Palace.
Reds star Salah appeared to be accused of diving by Crystal Palace’s players and certainly was by their fans after winning a controversial first-half penalty.
Salah – criticised by boss Jurgen Klopp after being booked for taking a tumble at Chelsea in May – fell to the ground just before half time under pressure from Eagles defender Mamadou Sakho and referee Michael Oliver awarded the penalty.
But the Egyptian’s delayed fall following minimal contact sparked fury from Palace’s players and manager Roy Hodgson.
Sakho plus Palace teammates Christian Benteke and Patrick Van Aanholt all confronted Salah before James Milner converted from the spot.
Meanwhile Hodgson waited by the tunnel for referee Oliver as the two teams walked off at the break.
Fuming Hodgson said: “I don’t think we gave away a penalty and that Liverpool deserved to be leading 1-0 at half-time thanks to that penalty.
“It is a cause for frustration and anger. It is not a penalty. I have been in football a long time.
“If that is a penalty the game has changed beyond all recognition. There is no way he is looking to foul the player. He’s looking to defend.
“If people can’t see that I will be the pariah who only sees what he wants to see.
“I don’t want penalties for my team in that way and if you ask me if that’s penalty and if I don’t say those situations are not penalties for and against I will be very disappointed in myself.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insisted he hadn’t seen the penalty incident, saying: “You’d have to ask Mo. I have nothing to say about individual performances, but Mo Salah can play much better.
“But he was really involved, decisively involved, in both goals. Two assists. So I’m completely fine with that.”
Salah was involved in the big talking point of the second half too when he was brought down as he raced through on goal by Aaron Wan-Bissaka in the 75th minute.
Palace’s young right-back was sent off, all but ending Palace’s hopes of a comeback.
And Salah rubbed salt in Palace’s wounds by putting Sadio Mane through to make it 2-0.
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