CRYSTAL PALACE’S Luka Milivojevic pleaded with Mohamed Salah on Monday night to tell referee Michael Oliver to rescind the penalty he awarded to Liverpool after insisting the Egyptian had gone down too easily.
The Reds secured back to back league victories after overcoming a resilient Eagles side by two goals to nil on a humid evening at a packed Selhurst Park.
Liverpool pressed continuously despite their lack of quality in the final third, with balls to Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah’s feet giving Palace defenders something to think about.
The first goal came from one of those scenarios as Salah had the ball fed into him and attempted to wriggle past Sakho, and in doing so, won a penalty for his side.
Replays suggested that the Egyptian forward played for it, giving referee Michael Oliver the decision to make.
Unsurprisingly it was an unpopular one amongst the home fans and midfielder Milivojevic said: “I told him: ‘Say to the referee it’s not a penalty.’ But he said it was. From his point of view it was a penalty.
“It was not a penalty. During the game that was my opinion and after the game when I saw the image, Mama [Sakho] tried to touch the ball, he did not touch the ball and in my opinion he did not touch the man.
“He fell down and for the referee it was a penalty. I did not see the contact on Salah. For me it was clear. It was not a penalty. That is football.”
Palace boss Roy Hodgson made his feelings clear after the game, saying: “If I ever say: ‘Oh there might have been a slight touch…’ if I don’t say that those situations are not penalties, I should be very disappointed in myself and you’re quite entitled to take me up on it.”
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was happy with his back four but noted his frustration with his side going forward.
“I thought we could have done better … I was not happy with our offensive play, our rhythm was not good, timing was not good, both fullbacks need to be involved much more, open up their game a little bit.
“We expected Palace to be that strong and that clear in their approach, I saw [Wayne] Hennessey warming up and thought: ‘Wow, this is going to be really difficult’, said Jurgen Klopp in his post-match conference.
“Not many defenders can defend Christian Benteke in 100 per cent of those situations, clear and without a foul, it was very important Virgil [van Dijk] was that kind of presence.”
Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka saw red for a professional foul late-on as he clipped Salah as the striker was through on goal, making it difficult for the hosts to salvage something from the game.
The killer blow came in the last attack as the Eagles pushed for an equaliser and were punished by Mane who rounded Hennessey to secure the victory for the visitors.
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