Michael Owen claimed he was ‘astonished’ Sadio Mane didn’t do more to try and convince referee Paul Tierney to award a penalty in the closing stages of last night’s match against Newcastle following his tussle with Karl Darlow.
The Magpies’ goalkeeper was in superb form during the stalemate at St James’ Park, producing a string of fine saves to frustrate the champions who were forced to settle for a second successive draw.
Darlow, however, was fortunate not to have been penalised with 10 minutes remaining when he grabbed hold of the Liverpool forward and prevented him from beating Fabian Schar to the ball and scoring what would have been, almost certainly, the winning goal.
While Owen praised Mane for his honesty, the former Liverpool striker believes Jurgen Klopp will be ruing the Senegal international’s decision to stay on his feet and making the referee’s job far harder than it might have been had he gone to ground.
He 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.
‘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’ve got a penalty there.
‘It just goes to show it’s virtually impossible for a referee to give a penalty unless you go 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.
‘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.’