The Reds came from behind to sneak a win at Anfield as they extended their lead at the top of the table to three points.
Pablo Fornals put David Moyes’ side ahead early on with his scuffed effort trickling past Alisson’s near post.
Liverpool then got their opportunity to draw level from the penalty spot towards the end of the first half as Salah went down under a challenge from Arthur Masuaku in the box.
VAR checked the incident, but it wasn’t deemed a clear and obvious error from referee Kevin Friend – and Salah duly converted from 12 yards.
Substitute Diogo Jota went on to score a late winner for Jurgen Klopp’s side as they equalled a club record of 63 home league games unbeaten.
But Cole took issue with the ease in which Salah went down in the box and urged referees to do more to protect the integrity of the game.
‘I’d be embarrassed to go down in that fashion but I’m not a great actor,’ former England striker Cole wrote on Twitter.
If I would have tried that the ref would have booked me for a blatant dive and say “look at the size of you, Get up you tart”.
‘This shows me that players can now do this to gain an advantage and it is deemed acceptable. Referees must do more to protect our game.’