“It was a foul. It was for pretty much everyone who saw it.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has launched a staunch defence of forward Mo Salah after the Egyptian was criticised for diving following his side’s 2-1 win over West Ham.
Salah won the Reds a penalty shortly before half-time in their game on Saturday, when he was fouled by West Ham defender Arthur Masuaku.
The 28-year-old stepped up and slotting home the penalty to give Liverpool the lead and despite there being contact with Salah’s foot, David Moyes outlined that he believed the Egyptian went down easily.
A host of pundits, including Tony Cascarino, have also criticised Salah.
“I am a Liverpool supporter but I hated to see Mohamed Salah dive to win the penalty against West Ham,” the former Ireland international wrote for the Times..
“In the week when we lost Nobby Stiles, to see a player do what Salah did makes me think that the game as it was played by the England team of 1966 will be gone completely within the next ten years.”
However, his manager Jurgen Klopp believes the challenge was a clear foul.
“It was a foul. It was for pretty much everyone who saw it,” the German told talkSPORT.
“Believe it or not I spoke to Mo about how he feels. He has exactly three proper knocks on his foot and one of them is from the penalty situation. That’s how it is.
“We don’t talk that long about penalties we don’t get in other games.
“It’s two or three days after that and there was clear contact, so what can I say? No, I don’t understand the criticism.”
Liverpool and Klopp will be hoping that Salah can continue his strong start to the season in front of goal when they take on Atalanta in the Champions League in mid-week.
Liverpool are two wins from two in their group after defeating Ajax and FC Midtjylland, however, Jurgen Klopp believes Atalanta will pose a different threat, likening them to Leeds United.
“Top players and top recruitment. Very good players and well-organised, and they play a system with 100 per cent conviction.
“They use skills of individuals in incredibly smart ways.
“This is the biggest challenge we have in the Champions League so far. Atalanta are very difficult to play against.
“They are slightly similar to Leeds in their approach. It will be a tough one.”
🗣"I don't understand the criticism"
Jurgen Klopp is adamant that Mo Salah was fouled for Liverpool's penalty against West Ham pic.twitter.com/LNLW7hgot7
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) November 2, 2020