Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher says it was the correct decision to award Mohamed Salah a penalty against Newcastle.
The Egyptian won and scored a spot-kick in Liverpool’s 4-0 Boxing Day win after being tugged by the trailing arm of Paul Dummett.
His 15th goal of the season across all competitions doubled the Reds’ lead shortly after half-time following Dejan Lovren’s expertly-taken half-volley.
A rout was completed later in the second half when Xherdan Shaqiri finished off an excellent team move to make it three, before Fabinho headed home Salah’s corner to score his first goal for the club.
Whilst Salah has since come under criticism for going to ground too easily, Gallagher believes it was the right call from official Graham Scott.
He told Sky Sports: “I thought it was a penalty – he [Dummett] caught him by the arm and there was enough there. At the speed people move, you do not need much… (to go over). His reaction is that he almost gives upon the decision, like ‘why have I done that?’
Gallagher proceeded to analyse the difference between Salah’s incident and that of Everton’s Oumar Niasse and West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini, with both having received retrospective bans for diving last season.
He added: “He [Niasse] is going forward and actually initiates the contact, whereas with the Dummett and Salah one, Dummett takes him from behind. Whereas Niasse sees the leg and then goes into it.”
“The referee is in the wrong position here – because he has a complete down the barrel view, he thinks Erik Pieters fouls him [Lanzini], but he takes his leg away.”
Salah learned on Thursday that he would avoid punishment due to the incident not meeting the FA’s threshold for deception of a match official.