Salah’s reputation for diving down to club’s ‘high profile’, says Klopp
Egypt international accused of simulation against Palace, Newcastle and Arsenal
Mohamed Salah clashes with Crystal Palace’s Cheikhou Kouyate. Photograph: Darren Staples/PA Wire
Jürgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s high profile has fuelled accusations of diving against Mohamed Salah, and the Egypt international knows not to resort to theatrics to win penalties.
Salah was roundly criticised for diving against Crystal Palace in Liverpool’s last Premier League outing and was also accused of going to ground too easily for recent penalties against Newcastle United and Arsenal.
Klopp admits the Palace incident should have been avoided, with Salah falling under minimal pressure from Mamadou Sakho, but the Liverpool manager insists every penalty awarded for the striker this season has been legitimate. Criticism of Salah is exaggerated by Liverpool’s stature, Klopp alleged.
Asked whether he needed to speak with Salah over the Palace controversy, Klopp replied: “He knows that. If this is the first situation where he went down without [a penalty] and you speak about all the other situations as well when 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?
“Did anyone talk to Jamie Vardy when, I forget the opponent [Southampton], everybody saw. You remember the situation? That was a proper – he jumped in. Is Jamie a bad person because of that? I don’t say now he is a diver. That is another situation.
“You have them [Sakho] 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. But there are other situations, much more obvious situations, that we don’t talk about and nobody is talking about because it’s not City, it’s not United, it’s not Liverpool, it’s not Arsenal or it’s not Chelsea. All the others can do it from time to time and nobody really talks about it. It’s all fine.
“All the penalties against [Salah] 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. No, I didn’t speak to him about it.”
Liverpool will host Leicester and Vardy tonight without a recognised right-back available in the squad. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez remain out of action through injury and James Milner is suspended because of his dismissal in the 4-3 victory against Palace.
Rafa Camacho, the 18-year-old winger, is in line to make his first Premier League start, although Fabinho is hoping to return from a hamstring injury and could play at full back. Virgil van Dijk is expected to start despite missing several days’ training through illness while Dejan Lovren has also recovered from a hamstring strain.