Belfast Telegraph

Salah won't face FA action over dive allegation

Controversy: Mohamed Salah
Controversy: Mohamed Salah

By Tom Kershaw

Mohamed Salah will not face any action from the FA for the alleged dive which led to Liverpool's second goal in their 4-0 thrashing of Newcastle on Boxing Day.

Referee Graham Scott awarded the penalty two minutes into the second half after Salah appeared to have been pulled back as he dribbled into the box by Magpies left-back Paul Dummett. However, replays revealed that while there had been contact, it was in fact very minimal.

It's understood that Salah's theatrical reaction did not breach the threshold of "attempting to deceive the referee".

If found guilty, Salah could have faced a two-match ban which would have ruled him out of Liverpool's decisive fixtures against Arsenal tomorrow and Manchester City on Thursday.

Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez said the penalty was "soft" and "crucial", but stopped short of labelling it a dive.

"The soft penalty made the difference, we were in the game 1-0 at half-time, but when we conceded the second goal it was more difficult for us to react against a very good team," he said. "The second goal was crucial, it gave them more confidence and was more difficult for us, you have to take more risks."

Liverpool remain undefeated after 19 games - a Premier League club record - and stretched their lead over Tottenham to six points at the top of the table, with City tumbling into third after suffering their second successive defeat.

• Unai Emery has been hit with a Football Association charge of improper conduct after the Arsenal head coach kicked a water bottle into the crowd during his side's draw at Brighton.

The Spaniard immediately apologised to a supporter, who was also given the shirt of Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny as a gesture by the club. Emery went to speak to the home fan and also at full-time after the Gunners drew 1-1 at the Amex Stadium on Boxing Day.

The FA announced yesterday that the 47-year-old had been charged over the incident. He has until 6pm on January 2 to respond to the charge.

Belfast Telegraph


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