Peter Crouch leaps to Mohamed Salah’s defence over Liverpool diving controversy

Peter Crouch has leapt to the defence of under-fire Liverpool forward Mohammed Salah, insisting the Egyptian didn't dive in the Reds' victory over West Ham this past weekend.

Salah has come in for fierce criticism for the manner in which he won a crucial penalty in the Merseysiders' 2-1 win over the Hammers on Saturday evening.

Moments before the half-time interval, the winger took a theatrical tumble in the box after being pressured by Arthur Masuaku.

Replays showed the Hammers defender lightly kicked the former Chelsea man, although many – including Masuaku – didn't think contact warranted the reaction it received.

Salah made no mistake from the resulting penalty, which kick-started the Reds' turnaround.

Salah's theatrics have divided opinion, with many firmly believing he overexaggerated the contact he received.

Former Reds hitman Crouch, however, disagrees with that notion, writing in his Daily Mail column: "I do not think he dived but Salah made sure that Kevin Friend, the referee, knew there had been contact from Arthur Masuaku – and if there is contact then it is a penalty.

“You might not like the fact Salah went to ground or the fact he made the most of the challenge but the fact is, it was a foul.

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“Do I think Salah would fall over if he suffered such contact in the street? No.

"But his job is to do his best for his team and Masuaku gave him the opportunity to get the decision.

“It will be debated now but, at the end of the season, if Liverpool win the league, do you think anyone will say anything about how they got three points against West Ham? Not a chance.

"The only thing Liverpool will be bothered about is that they got them.

“Perhaps things would be different if referees started awarding fouls when players remain on their feet.

“By that, I mean forwards get dragged and kicked so many times but don't believe a referee will give them a decision unless they go down.”

Salah and his Liverpool team-mates will be back in action on Tuesday night, travelling to the Stadium Bergamo take on Atalanta in their third Champions League Group D match.

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