Michael Owen reckons Jurgen Klopp will be frustrated that Sadio Mane didn't dive when Karl Darlow appeared to grab his leg during Liverpool's draw at Newcastle.
Mane was denied a late winner in Wednesday's Premier League clash when Newcastle defender Fabian Schar cleared the ball from in front of him just yards away from goal.
The last-ditch clearance secured the hosts a point and meant Liverpool go into 2021 just three points ahead of second-placed Manchester United – who have a game in hand over the leaders.
But Reds fans were angry after the incident as Newcastle keeper Darlow – who had made several good saves – appeared to have impeded Mane before Schar was able to clear the danger.
And Owen couldn't believe that Mane didn't go to ground to try and win a penalty that would have given Klopp's side a great chance to extend their advantage.
"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," said the former Liverpool and Newcastle striker Owen on Amazon Prime.
"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."
Darlow had blocked a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross a split second before the contentious incident, but only managed to push it against Mane's leg.
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The Reds forward then had what a looked like a tap-in, but Darlow wasn't done, doing his best to put Mane off before Shar rushed back to the rescue.
Owen said the Senegal star should be applauded for having the integrity to stay on his feet – but he reckons Klopp would secretly have wanted his player to hit the deck.
"As a centre forward what most players try to do is make it more obvious to the referee, which is why we were surprised he didn't go down," said Owen.
"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 – he can't come out and say it – but I'm sure he's thinking if he went down we would have won a penalty there."
Owen insisted referees actually prefer it when attacking players go to ground – as it makes it easier to award penalties that could be contentious.
"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."
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