Graeme Souness has criticised Liverpool’s Mo Salah for winning a penalty by falling to the ground in a “unnatural way” in their 2-1 victory over West Ham.
Diogo Jota came off the bench to score in a third successive match as the Reds secured a late win at Anfield.
Pablo Fornals had given the Hammers a surprise early lead on Merseyside. But Salah levelled with a controversial penalty before the half-time break.
And Souness claimed it was “not a penalty” and that Arthur Masuaku gave “Salah a chance to throw himself to the ground”.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Souness said: “If I’m the referee, I’m not going that. That is two players coming together in the box and Salah has falling in an completely unnatural way.
“I might get into trouble here, but I’m with West Ham manager David Moyes here. That is a harsh penalty. You might say in the modern game that’s a penalty, but it’s not a penalty.
“I’ve seen Salah do this time and time again. I think it’s careless from the defender and he has given Salah a chance to throw himself to the ground.
“If you are 10 yards away from that, you can see that Salah has fallen down in an unnatural way, you don’t give it. But the guys in the black jerseys making these decisions keep getting it wrong.”
Jota putting pressure on Firmino
Meanwhile, Souness believes Diogo Jota will be putting pressure on Roberto Firmino’s starting place “pretty quickly.”
Jota has made an impressive start to life at Anfield since his £40million move from Wolves last month.
The Portuguese forward has scored four goals in nine games for the Reds, including two Premier League match winners in the last week.
He netted the decisive strike in his side’s win over Sheffield United last week, and secured another three points for Jurgen Klopp’s men against West Ham.
His performances have led to calls for him to be a starter for the Merseyside club. For that to happen though, he would have to take the place of one of the much praised ‘front three’.
And Souness has backed Jota to force Klopp into considering dropping Firmino in order to get him into the first eleven.
Speaking on Sky Sports (via the Daily Mail) he said: “I would imagine pretty quickly he will be challenging Firmino for a starting spot.
“Why not? He’s got goals, he got a goal in what, every three games at Wolves. And now he’s in a better team so that should improve.” Read more…