Luka Milivojevic asked Mohamed Salah to tell the referee not to award him a penalty during Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Monday night.
The Egyptian was awarded a spot-kick two minutes before half-time after being brought down by Mamadou Sakho in the hosts’ penalty area.
Palace players reacted angrily to the decision and surrounded Salah, who they deemed to have dived under minimal contact.
Replays showed that Sakho had clearly clipped the Liverpool forward, with his rashness giving referee Michael Oliver a decision to make.
James Milner subsequently stepped up to convert from 12-yards and hand his side a deserved lead heading into the interval.
Discussing his conversation with Salah after the decision, Milivojevic told reporters: “I told him ‘say to the referee it was not a penalty’. But he said ‘it was’. From his point of view it was a penalty as well.”
“It was not a penalty. During the game that was my opinion and after the game when I saw the image, Mama 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 manager Roy Hodgson held the same view as his player, making no secret of his disapproval of the referee’s decision on the night.
The former England boss was also of the belief his side should have been awarded a penalty for an alleged foul on Max Meyer by Virgil van Dijk late on in the second half.
His opinion was perhaps premature, with footage of the incident clearly showing no contact between the two players as Meyer stretched to try and reach Wilfried Zaha’s low-driven cross.
Though Palace may feel aggrieved with some of the decisions, Liverpool walked out as worthy winners having managed the game superbly in the second half.
Jurgen Klopp’s men expertly shut out Palace in their search for an equaliser, whilst posing a constant threat on the counterattack.
This paid dividends in stoppage time when Sadio Mane broke free in the Palace half before rounding goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey and slotting home to wrap up the points.