Michael Owen questions Sadio Mane for NOT diving to win Liverpool a penalty against Newcastle, as former Reds striker admits he was ‘astonished’ Jurgen Klopp’s man ‘didn’t go down’ following tangle with Karl Darlow
- Newcastle United and Liverpool played out a goalless draw on Wednesday night
- Sadio Mane had a great opportunity to win the game for Liverpool late on
- Forward appeared to be held back by the leg by Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow
- But Mane didn’t go down and try to win a penalty as Newcastle cleared the ball
- Michael Owen was left stunned that Mane didn’t go to ground in the tangle
- Liverpool end the year three points clear of Manchester United at the top
Michael Owen was left ‘astonished’ that Liverpool forward Sadio Mane didn’t go down and try to win a penalty when Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow appeared to hold him by the leg in Wednesday night’s draw.
The Premier League leaders dropped two points at St James’ Park, largely because of an outstanding display by Darlow.
But the Newcastle stopper was fortunate referee Paul Tierney didn’t award Liverpool a penalty 10 minutes from time when he grabbed Mane just as he seemed certain to score from just a few yards out.
Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow appeared to grab the leg of Liverpool forward Sadio Mane as he strains to reach the ball during Wednesday night’s goalless draw
Pundit Michael Owen was left ‘astonished’ that Mane didn’t go down to try and win a penalty
Owen said that sometimes players had to go to ground to ensure referees had a call to make
That allowed defender Fabian Schar to get back and clear the ball off the line, ensuring Newcastle would take an unexpected point against the reigning champions.
But former Liverpool and Newcastle forward Owen, a pundit for Amazon Prime, was left stunned that Mane didn’t go to ground and try to win a crucial penalty for his team.
Owen said: ‘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.
‘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.
Liverpool look certain to score but Darlow manages to push to ball out against Mane’s knee
The ball bounces loose but Mane still has a tap-in if he can get past Darlow to the ball
Darlow appears to grab Mane’s leg but the Liverpool forward doesn’t try and go down
Mane tries to clamber over Darlow to reach the ball but the keeper does just about enough
That allows defender Fabian Schar to get back and hook the ball away to safety in time
‘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.
Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side are three points clear at the top of the table ending 2020
‘In that instance everyone can say what they like, ‘oh yes, it should have been a penalty’ but no referee will give that.
‘So it’s almost better for a referee if you go down, give them a decision to make.’
The goalless draw means Liverpool end 2020 sitting three points clear at the top of the Premier League but second-placed Manchester United have a game in hand.
Liverpool are next in action when they visit Southampton on Monday evening.