October 28, 2017.
That was the last time Liverpool were awarded a penalty in the Premier League at home. The last time, at least, until yesterday, when Mohamed Salah was pulled back by a defender in the box, and to the shock of many in the crowd (who had witnessed countless fouls on Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino without being awarded free kicks or penalties), the referee pointed to the spot.
Of course, Liverpool’s front three don’t quite look like conventional British attackers. All of them are from other countries. You know, the ones that dive to gain an advantage. Not like nice English lads. Harry Kane would never.
Except yesterday. When Salah got awarded a penalty. It was a soft one, for sure, but he was held. The contact was enough, at the very least, to prevent Salah from racing past his markers (whether or not he went to ground). It’s one we’ve seen given against us plenty, but not nearly enough in our favor.
The reaction? Controversy.
“Sean Dyche will be spitting feathers watching this tonight,” former Premier League referee Mark Halsey wrote on Twitter.
“In my opinion if we are going to rid this disease of simulation Salah has to face retrospective action and receive a two-match ban.”
Disease. Yes, nothing like a foreigner to bring disease to our shores.
It’s a disgusting comment, barely taking the effort to conceal the racist dog whistling therein.
Week in and week out opposition players attempt to kick Salah off the pitch. Just two games ago it was Bournemouth defender Steve Cook who attempted to remove his Achilles tendon the hard way. He gets little to no protection from the refs, and hardly any calls.
But he wins one penalty after 400+ days of being routinely abused in and around the box, and suddenly he needs to be banned? Go do one, Mark.
Salah will not, despite Mark’s hopes, face a ban.