Salah free to face Arsenal & Man City after avoiding FA diving charge

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Liverpool's Egyptian forward can face the Gunners and Blues as he will face no retrospective action over the penalty he won against Newcastle United

Mohamed Salah will face no action from the Football Association for the incident which saw him win a penalty in Liverpool's 4-0 victory over Newcastle United at Anfield on Boxing Day.

Reds forward Salah appeared to go down easily after having his arm tugged by Paul Dummett, and Magpies boss Rafael Benitez branded the spot-kick "soft" in a post-match interview with Sky Sports.

He said: "The soft penalty in the game made the difference, we were in the game 1-0 at half-time, but when we conceded the second goal it was more difficult for us to react against a very good team.

"The second goal was crucial, it gave them more confidence and was more difficult for us, you have to take more risks, be more open then you make more mistakes and pay for that."

However, the FA has confirmed the second-half incident did not meet the threshold to constitute deception of a match official.

The Egypt international could have faced a two-game ban had he been charged with simulation, but will now be free to take part in the crunch clashes against Arsenal and Manchester City.

Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey had suggested to The Sun that action should be taken, saying: "Mo Salah should face a two-match ban if the simulation panel are consistent.

"Newcastle defender Paul Dummett does put his hand on Salah’s arm, but the Liverpool forward does not need to go to ground in that manner and it is an act of simulation.

"Oumar Niasse and Manuel Lanzini were given two-game suspensions for ‘deception of a match official’ last season.

"Salah has gone to ground just as easily as they did and could easily face the same punishment.

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"The authorities need to act quickly because incidents like this are happening too often in the best league in the world."

Salah has now been cleared and converted the penalty he won on Wednesday to double Liverpool's lead following Dejan Lovren's opener before Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho scored to wrap up a result that took Jurgen Klopp's side six points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Salah has found the net 12 times this season and is one behind the division's leading scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

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