The accusations of diving being levelled at Mohamed Salah have left Jurgen Klopp stunned, with the Liverpool boss adamant that the awarding of a penalty was the right call in a meeting with West Ham.
The reigning Premier League champions found themselves in need of inspiration from somewhere during a clash with the Hammers at Anfield.
Salah is often the man the Reds turn to in such hours of need, and the Egyptian did not disappoint in his latest outing.
He lured Arthur Masuaku into a clumsy challenge inside the box, with his ankle clipped by the Congo international defender.
Contact was minimal, but Salah went to ground and a spot kick was awarded – with VAR reviews confirming that the correct decision had been made.
West Ham, who would go on to lose 2-1 in a game they led, were less than impressed with the actions of Liverpool’s superstar forward and the match officials.
Many more have been quick to condemn Salah for his supposed theatrics, with it not the first time that the 28-year-old is said to have dabbled in the dark arts of simulation.
Klopp, though, is adamant that his frontman was caught, with the bruises there to prove it, and is baffled as to why an incident that played out as it should have done has created such a storm.
The Liverpool boss told reporters when quizzed on the criticism aimed at Salah: “I don’t know what people need. What can I say? It was a foul, pretty much for everybody who saw the situation.
“Believe it or not, yesterday morning I spoke to Mo about how he feels and he has exactly three proper knocks, and one of them is from the penalty situation.
“There’s a knock, you go down or not, sometimes the ref whistles.
“We don’t talk for long about penalties we don’t get, but now three days after the game we talk about it, and there was clear contact.
“What can I say? No, I don’t understand the criticism.”
Salah converted the penalty that he won against the Hammers, restoring parity for Liverpool on the day, with Diogo Jota stepping off the bench to snatch a late winner.
The Reds will be back in action on Tuesday when facing Atalanta in the Champions League, with their next Premier League fixture set to see them take in a trip to fellow title hopefuls Manchester City.