Michael Owen ‘astonished’ Sadio Mane didn’t go down for penalty in Liverpool draw with Newcastle


Liverpool were held 0-0 by Newcastle United on Wednesday night, but it wasn’t for a lack of chances. The Reds were denied by Magpies goalkeeper Karl Darlow on several occasions, with Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah both seeing efforts saved – but it was third member of the attacking trident which caused Michael Owen consternation.

Sadio Mane didn’t have too many sights of goal on the night, but came close to scoring when the ball rebounded his way – only for it to be cleared off the line before he could add a finishing touch.

However, the No. 10 appeared to have his leg held slightly by Darlow, impeding Mane’s chances of reaching the ball first – and speaking as a pundit for Amazon Prime Video, Owen feels the current incumbent of his old shirt simply had to go to ground to appeal for the late penalty.

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“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,” Owen said of the incident.

“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.”

While Owen said onlookers “should applaud honesty as well”, the former England international feels Jurgen Klopp would have been wanting to see his forward go down in the box.

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He also claimed referees “prefer if you go down and give them a decision to make”.

The result leaves the reigning champions three points clear at the top, but with just two wins from their last five league games and two away wins in eight games this season.

One big positive for the Reds was the return to action of Thiago Alcantara, who appeared off the bench in the closing stages, but Joel Matip has been confirmed as out injured for the next three weeks.

The Reds are next in action against Southampton on 4 January, by which time Manchester United could be level on points with them at the top of the table.

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