Mo Salah ‘dive’ vs Newcastle: Did Liverpool forward con the ref – or was penalty deserved?

Updated: 29/02/2024

A Mohamed Salah penalty put Liverpool 2-0 up against Newcastle on Boxing Day.

With Manchester City losing to Leicester it looked like a crucial goal as the Reds tried to build their lead at the top of the Premier League table.

While Liverpool fans were delighted, it's fair to say their counterparts in the away end, as well as a fair few pundits and neutrals on social media were less than impressed.

What happened?

Newcastle defender Paul Dummett puts his hand on Salah's left shoulder (Sky Sports)

Shortly after the start of the second half, Salah darted in to the penalty box from the right wing and, while running directly towards goal, fell under pressure from Paul Dummett.

It appeared as though the Newcastle full-back pulled Salah's shoulder – although exactly how much contact there was is up for debate.

Either way, referee Craig Pawson pointed to the spot and Salah coolly slotted home from 12 yards.

Reaction: ‘Embarrassing'

Former Manchester United and Aston Villa forward Dion Dublin felt Salah “conned” the ref.

“There was hardly any contact, I was actually wincing to myself,” said Dublin on BBC Final Score.

“It was dramatic to fall to the ground like that. He's conned the ref, unfortunately, Salah. I don't think it's a foul, I really don't.”

The BBC's livebloggers agreed: “It's very, very soft indeed. Mo Salah made a right Christmas meal of the slightest contact. He tucked it away very nicely.”

“Everyone talks abt Neymar diving So what did Salah do today?” asked Arnav on Twitter.

One viewer wrote: “Liverpool struggling at home to relegation fodder, Salah dives, ref obliges. So predictable.”

“Even in basketball that wouldn’t have been a foul,” said Newcastle fan Angus on Twitter. “Pathetic decision. Embarrassing by Salah and the ref.”

Some suggested Dummett was not completely blameless:

Others felt the solution was obvious: to introduce VAR as soon as possible.

“VAR next season,” wrote i reader Steven Charlton on Facebook.

Have your say

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