Mohamed Salah learns his fate as pundit accuses Liverpool star of a 'pathetic' dive against Newcastle
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has been cleared to take on Arsenal in the Premier League this weekend after the Football Association decided he had not deceived the match officials as he was handed a penalty in the St Stephen's Day game against Newcastle.
Salah fell theatrically in the box as he was awarded a penalty after a challenge from Newcastle defender Paul Dummett, with the minimal contact inspiring suggestions the Egyptian has dived and may face retrospective FA punishment.
Salah scored from the resulting spot kick and the FA have no decided that the Premier League's top scorer from last season was not guilty of simulation in a bid to win his side a penalty.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez had labelled the penalty award "soft" and suggested it was the turning point in his side's 4-0 defeat at Anfield.
"The soft penalty in the game 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," said Benitez.
"The second goal was crucial, it gave them more confidence and was more difficult for us, you have to take more risks, be more open then you make more mistakes and pay for that."
Meanwhile, ESPN pundit Craig Burley accused Salah of a 'pathetic' dive, as he suggested he did not deserve to be awarded a penalty.
"I'm a big fan of Mo Salah, but that's pathetic," declared former Chelsea star Burley. "It's indicative of the modern game. It's indicative of players who consider cheating to be okay.
"It didn't change the result as Newcastle were dreadful, but we are trying to sanitise this game with decisions like that."