Jurgen Klopp believes Premier League leaders Liverpool’s profile prompts criticism of Mohamed Salah amid claims he has dived to earn penalties this season.
Salah has won several spot-kicks this term, with some soft decisions questioned. The forward appeared to go down under minimal contact against Newcastle United in December, while he was confronted by Crystal Palace players this month when a foul was not awarded after he went to ground.
But Klopp insists Liverpool’s star forward does not dive, suggesting his actions are only the subject of scrutiny because he plays for a big club.
“[Crystal Palace] was the first situation where he went down without [a penalty] and you speak about all the other situations as well,” Klopp said to reporters.
“The other situations there is nothing to talk about – it is a penalty, done. If this is the first then why do we talk about?
“There are other situations, much more obvious situations, that we don’t talk about and nobody is talking about because it’s not [Manchester] City, it’s not [Manchester] United, it’s not Liverpool, it’s not Arsenal or it’s not Chelsea.
— Mohamed Salah (@MoSalah) January 28, 2019
“All the others can do it from time to time and nobody really talks about it. It’s all fine.
“All the penalties against him were penalties, but people handle it like it was halfway diving – it was not. We don’t need blood for a foul in football. That’s all I will say about it.”
Liverpool face Leicester City on Wednesday and Klopp cited Foxes forward Jamie Vardy as an example of a player who has gone down in similar fashion to Salah.
“Did anyone talk to Jamie Vardy when, everybody saw [against Southampton], he jumped in? Is Jamie a bad person because of that?” Klopp added. “I don’t say now he is a diver. That is another situation.
“You have them in the back, you are there, you feel something, do you have to go down? Probably not. I don’t have to speak to players about obvious things. He knows that. Don’t go down in situations like that.”
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