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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Mohamed Salah at the centre of dive storm as Liverpool defeat Crystal Palace - in pictures

Palace manager Hodgson expresses 'anger and disappointment' over the Egyptian winning a penalty on the stroke of half-time

Mohamed Salah found himself at the centre of a diving debate after the Egyptian earned a penalty to help Liverpool defeat Crystal Palace 2-0 in the Premier League on Monday night.

With the match at Selhurst Park level heading into half-time, Salah won his side a spot kick after tumbling in the penalty area. James Milner duly converted to hand Liverpool the lead at the break.

Salah was involved in the game's next major incident when Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off in the second half for bringing down the Egyptian as he raced clear.

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Taking advantage of their numerical superiority, Jurgen Klopp's side made sure of extending their 100 per cent start to the Premier League season thanks to Sadio Mane's goal in stoppage-time, with Salah the driving force of the counter-attack move.

Palace manager Roy Hodgson was furious with the penalty, saying: "My frustration is I don't think that's a penalty. It's cause for anger and disappointment.

"I've been in football a long time. If that's a penalty the game has changed beyond all recognition.

Sakho is a defender and he has to try and defend. There is no way he is looking to foul the player. Liverpool didn't deserve to be leading."

Klopp side-stepped the diving row, claiming he hadn't seen the incident clearly.

"I didn't ask Mo about that. I didn't see it. It looked like it was [a penalty], but I have no idea," he said.

After Manchester City's swaggering demolition of Huddersfield Town on Sunday, it was important for Liverpool to keep pace with the champions, even at this early stage of the season.

This was a statement win for Klopp's team, installed as City's most likely challengers, and they move into second place after building on last weekend's rout of West Ham United. But Klopp refused to talk up Liverpool's title chances.

"I am not interested in sending statements to Manchester City or anyone else. I want to win football games," he said.

"I couldn't care less really. We are not in a race with other Premier League teams each weekend."