Klopp slams Salah 'diver' tag and says Liverpool star has 'proper knock on his foot' from West Ham penalty incident

JURGEN KLOPP has defended Mohamed Salah after the Liverpool star was accused of diving.

The Egyptian scored from the spot after he won a penalty for going down following a challenge from West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku in the 2-1 victory on Saturday.

A number of pundits and supporters have blasted the forward and labelled him a diver.

However, Reds boss Klopp insists he felt ‘a proper knock on his foot’.

Speaking at a press conference ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League game against Atalanta, Klopp said:”'No. I don't know what people need. It was a foul. Everybody who saw the situation saw it. 

“Yesterday I spoke to Mo and he has exactly three knocks and one of them is from the penalty situation.

“He has a proper knock on his foot. We don't talk that long about penalties we don't get. There was clear contact, so I don't understand.”

Ex-Chelsea striker Tony Cascarino was one of those to heavily criticise Salah, and he even went as far to claim he disrespected England legend Nobby Stiles, who passed away the day before the match, with his actions.

He wrote in The Times: “I am a Liverpool supporter but I hated to see Mohamed Salah dive to win the penalty against West Ham.

“In the week when we lost Nobby Stiles, to see a player do what Salah did makes me think that the game as it was played by the England team of 1966 will be gone completely within the next 10 years.”

He added: “Imagine showing that generation an example of what they would have considered cheating being rewarded in that way.

“The culture started to change during my playing career and now when I watch kids football they are all as good at diving as they are at everything else.

“And when I say good at it, I mean they go down in a way that may deceive a referee into giving a free kick.”

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness also blasted Salah on Sky Sports.

He said: “I don't give that if I'm a referee in the Premier League. I've seen Salah do this time and time again.

“This is totally an unnatural way to fall. Look, he doesn't actually kick him, the West Ham player makes contact with his ankle.

“I think it's careless and given an enormous invitation for Salah to throw himself to the ground.

“For me I think it's a really harsh penalty and that's coming from a Liverpool supporter.”

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