Michael Owen reckons Sadio Mane will be kicking himself for staying on his feet when he was being held by Karl Darlow last night – or at least for not asking the referee for a penalty after the incident occurred.
Liverpool drew 0-0 with Newcastle at St. James’ Park, with the Mane incident a big talking point after the game.
On reflection, it definitely looked like Darlow holds Mane’s leg, which stops our no.10 from tapping into an empty net.
Mane though doesn’t act like someone who’s just been fouled, which meant VAR didn’t even check it.
If they did, it surely would have been given.
‘I’m astonished that Mane didn’t shout and ask the referee why it’s not a penalty and I’m surprised he didn’t go down because he’s quite clearly grabbed by both arms,’ Owen said, reported by the Mail.
‘One certainly touches and the other grabs him. It’s open to debate whether he would have tapped it in without getting grabbed there, possibly not.
‘But whatever the situation you can’t grab someone’s legs and he’s quite clearly grabbed his right leg there and prevents him from swinging it.
‘As a centre forward what most players try to do is make it more obvious to the referee which is why we were surprised he didn’t go down.
‘We should applaud honesty as well, we see so many times this season players going down when there’s hardly been any touch or no touch at all, so I think we should applaud it.
‘But I’m sure Jurgen Klopp would be thinking tonight if he went down, he can’t come out and say it, but I’m sure he’s thinking if he went down we would have won a penalty there.
‘It just goes to show it’s virtually impossible for a referee to give a penalty unless you do down. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, referees don’t mind, in fact they prefer, if you go down and it gives them a decision to make.’
It’s not the first time Mane has been stitched by a refereeing decision, of course – and won’t be the last!
But in fairness, Liverpool were not at the races again last night and we don’t actually agree with Jurgen Klopp’s assessment that the performance was good.
We now have five days before Southampton. With Thiago in the starting XI and the threat of the chasing pack overtaking us at the top of the table, it’s time the boys racked up another win.