'It was not a penalty': Luka Milivojevic fumes over Mo Salah's tumble in Liverpool win

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Mo Salah was involved in a controversial penalty incident.

Crystal Palace’s Luka Milivojevic instructed Mohamed Salah to tell referee Michael Oliver to rescind the penalty he awarded to Liverpool after insisting the Egyptian had gone down too easily.

Jurgen Klopp’s team won 2-0 at Selhurst Park on Monday, when James Milner scored from the penalty spot and Sadio Mane secured all three points in stoppage time after Palace had been reduced to 10 men with Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s dismissal.

What had been a competitive affair changed on the stroke of half-time when Salah went down under minimal contact from Mamadou Sakho to earn the penalty which Palace manager Roy Hodgson has also since criticised.

Palace’s pursuit of an equaliser left them vulnerable to the counter-attacks that ended with Wan-Bissaka’s red card and Mane’s late finish, and midfielder Milivojevic said: “I told him ‘Say to the referee it’s not a penalty’. But he said it was. From his point of view it was a penalty.

“It was not a penalty. During the game that was my opinion and after the game when I saw the image, Mama tried to touch the ball, he did not touch the ball and in my opinion he did not touch the man.

“He fell down and for the referee it was a penalty. I did not see the contact on Salah. For me it was clear; it was not a penalty. That is football.

“This is not the first mistake in football. We were angry in the first minute but in football you do not have time to cry, we carried on, we tried in the second half. We had some good chances. Okay we lost, but we have to be proud.”

Milivojevic played for Serbia during the summer’s World Cup, where the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology helped influence similar decisions.

The Premier League remains the only major, top-flight division in European football in which VAR will not contribute to the refereeing of matches, but despite his sense of injustice Milivojevic said: “I do not want VAR in this league. In this country you have the best referees in the world.

“I do not think VAR will help. They are human beings, and they make mistakes sometimes. In his opinion he (Oliver) did the right thing. As players, we have to respect the referee. We are not a team who will cry over that penalty, we just carry on.”

Liverpool’s new-look central defensive partnership of Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk had been significant in them resisting another of the comebacks Palace have engineered under Roy Hodgson, and Van Dijk told the Reds’ official website: “It was very important to win here. We know how difficult it is to come here, so to win and keep a clean sheet as well, I’m a very happy man.

“We had very good moments but also moments that need to be better, especially in ball possession, but overall we need to be very happy that we won here.

“It was going to be very tough, we knew before it was going to be a big fight, but we prepared very well, everyone was up for it and you could see that as well.”

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Biggest winners and losers of gameweek two as Sergio Aguero shines for Man City

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Aguero was the star of Gameweek 2.

The second match-week of the Premier League season was typically filled with comical defending, free-flowing attacking and questionable refereeing, with Manchester City claiming top spot by thrashing Huddersfield.

Liverpool, Chelsea, Watford, Tottenham and Bournemouth make up the remaining sides with a 100%-win record to start the season, whilst Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United fell to a shock defeat at the hands of Brighton.

Leicester and Everton picked up their first wins of the season, whilst Champions League hopefuls Arsenal are still yet to pick up a Premier League point.

In what was another brilliant round of fixtures, we take a closer look at the winners and losers from an action-packed weekend.

WINNERS

1) Sergio Aguero – Manchester City

The Argentine certainly had his goal scoring boots on as he netted a superb hat-trick to give City a commanding 6-1 victory in their first match at the Etihad Stadium this season.

In truth, Aguero could have scored five or six, but he showcased once again why he is one of the deadliest forwards in the world.

His treble earned him a standing ovation from the City faithful and a kiss from manager Pep Guardiola.

No doubt, the City hero was the standout performer this weekend.

2) Neil Etheridge – Cardiff City

The goalkeeper was in fine form to help newly-promoted Cardiff City earn their first points of the season. Etheridge capped off his assured performance with a crucial penalty save deep into stoppage time at the end of the second half.

That takes his tally of penalty saves to two already this season after saving a spot kick in the opening fixture against Bournemouth.

3) Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur

England’s World Cup hero Kane must have breathed a huge sigh of relief after scoring his first ever Premier League goal in the month of August.

Kane was a danger to the Fulham defence throughout the match and linked impressively with Lucas Moura and Dele Alli as Spurs sealed a 3-1 victory.

The forward can put his barren August run firmly behind him and he will now be looking to push on in the race for the Golden Boot.

Kane broke his August duck.

Kane broke his August duck.

LOSERS

1) Kenedy – Newcastle United

The on-loan Chelsea man has cemented his position for the Magpies under Rafa Benitez, but he had an afternoon to forget against Cardiff.

The left-winger failed to complete a single pass in the entire first-half of the match and when he was afforded the chance to snatch all three points for the Toon with a penalty in added time at the end of the match, he fluffed his lines.

The winger was also involved in an off the ball encounter which saw him kick out at an opponent which should have seen him sent off. He’ll be hoping to forget this match in a hurry.

Kenedy had a day to forget.

Kenedy had a day to forget.

2) Jamie Vardy – Leicester City

The Englishman went into the match against Wolves hoping to score his second goal of the season, but it went terribly wrong for him.

Vardy lunged in and made a reckless tackle on Matt Doherty which saw him given a straight red card just after the hour mark as the Foxes held on for a 2-0 victory.

The club confirmed that they will not be appealing the red card, meaning the 31-year-old will miss two Premier League matches against Southampton and Liverpool and a Carabao Cup fixture against Fleetwood Town.

3) Manchester United

The Red Devils were well below par and were deservedly beaten 3-2 by a well-organised Brighton side.

United’s defence was nervous, shaky and wide open as the Seagulls smashed in three first-half goals to stun Jose Mourinho’s men.

They looked disjointed and were uncharacteristically sloppy in possession, with midfield duo Paul Pogba and Fred drawing plenty of criticism. But, they’ll be looking to get back to winning ways against Tottenham next Monday.

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Mo Salah maintains his level and other reasons for Liverpool's blazing start

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Mo Salah is looking good once again for Liverpool.

It is early days but Liverpool‘s pre-season billing as the team to push Manchester City hardest for the Premier League title appears accurate.

Jurgen Klopp‘s men won 2-0 at Crystal Palace on Monday night, backing up a 4-0 thrashing of West Ham on the opening weekend of the campaign.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some of the key reasons the Reds have started the season well.

FINDERS KEEPERS

After Loris Karius had a nightmare in the Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid, the need for a new goalkeeper – which had been evident for some time – became a necessity for Klopp.

The club settled upon Brazil number one Allison Becker, signed for a then-world record fee for a goalkeeper to prise him away from Roma.

Liverpool’s new stopper has not conceded a goal in his first two Premier League game and, while he has not been truly tested, it is clear he is an upgrade on previous options.

Allison is a clear upgrade on Lorius Karius.

Allison is a clear upgrade on Lorius Karius.

MO OF THE SAME

The question is always asked of a player who enjoys a marvellous season – can he do it again, year after year?

Mohamed Salah could never have imagined his first year at Anfield would have yielded 44 goals across all competitions and both the PFA Player of the Year and the FWA footballer of the Year accolades.

While he could not inspire Egypt beyond the group stage of the World Cup, the 26-year-old has returned to Liverpool and picked up where he left off, proving to be the talisman of Klopp’s ever-exciting crop.

Salah has picked up where he left off last season.

Salah has picked up where he left off last season.

A NAB HAND

Naby Keita agreed to move to Liverpool a year ago but had to wait almost 12 months to get to the Premier League.

It was certainly worth the wait for the Guinea midfielder, as well as everyone involved with Liverpool.

He has already shown in his first two outings why Klopp was so keen to work with him, his passing ability and perpetual motion feeding straight into Liverpool’s philosophy.

Sadio Mane has started the season on fire.

Sadio Mane has started the season on fire.

MANE TALKS

If Salah has started the current season they way he ended the last, then so has Senegal forward Sadio Mane.

The man who scored Liverpool’s equaliser in their European defeat to Real Madrid, the explosiveness of Mane is enough to catch out even the best defences on the continent.

Mane, 26, has already hit three goals in the opening two league games of the season and will remain a key component of any success enjoyed at Anfield this year.

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