'Mane is a cheat' - Liverpool star blasted by Murphy over dive booking

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The Reds forward was booked for simulation during a Premier League meeting with Crystal Palace, leading to an ex-Anfield star to question his actions

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane has been accused of “cheating” by Danny Murphy in the wake of his booking for diving at Crystal Palace.

The Senegal international has earned plenty of praise this season for his goal-scoring exploits, with another effort in a 2-1 win at Selhurst Park taking his tally to 15.

He has, however, sparked a wave of criticism on the back of his antics in his latest Premier League outing.

Mane was cautioned for simulation during the first half against Palace, with referee Neil Swarbrick reaching for his pocket rather than pointing to the spot following a coming together with James McArthur.

Former Liverpool midfielder Murphy believes the right call was made, telling Match of the Day: “I thought the referee got this right.

“I think Jurgen Klopp was right, there was contact. But the delay in going down meant for me it was a dive and a yellow card.

“I understand full speed why somebody could get it wrong and think differently.

“But to be fair to the referee and his assistant, they were spot on.

“You’ll see it now better, we’ve had the replay to look at, but when you see the little bit of contact, look at the delay, there and he goes.

“I still think that’s cheating and that’s a dive and a yellow card.

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“I think the referee deserves credit for that.”

Mane was fortunate to avoid picking up a red card against Palace, with Swarbrick sparing him an early bath for grabbing the ball in the second half after believing he was fouled.

His goal four minutes after the break was, therefore, his most notable contribution, with that effort levelling the scores and allowing in-form Mohamed Salah to go on and snatch a late winner.

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