Milner, Mane hand Liverpool the win

Milner, Mane hand Liverpool the win

VITAL STRIKE Liverpool's Sadio Mane (second from right) celebrates with team-mates after scoring his side's second goal. REUTERS

Mohamed Salah was engulfed in a diving storm as the Liverpool star won the controversial penalty that inspired their 2-0 win over 10-man Crystal Palace.

Salah was accused of diving by Palace when he tumbled in the penalty area late in the first half at Selhurst Park.

Referee Michael Oliver awarded a spot-kick for Mamadou Sakho’s challenge on the Egypt winger and James Milner converted the penalty.

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville, working for Sky Sports, claimed it was a dive, saying: “A lot of people won’t like it. If it’s against you, you’ll think it’s soft.

“It is a theatrical fall which we’ve seen a lot of players do.”

Adding insult to injury for Palace, Aaron Wan-Bissaka was sent off in the second half for bringing down Salah as he raced clear.

Taking advantage of their numerical superiority, Jurgen Klopp’s side made sure of extending their 100 percent start to the Premier League season thanks to Sadio Mane’s goal in stoppage-time.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson was furious with the penalty, saying: “My frustration is I don’t think that’s a penalty. It’s cause for anger and disappointment. I’ve been in football a long time. If that’s a penalty the game has changed beyond all recognition.”

Right from the start, Salah was in the thick of the action when he surged onto Naby Keita’s long pass, but the Egyptian’s chip sailed high over the bar.

Andros Townsend came within inches of giving Palace the lead against the run of play when he cut in from the right flank and unleashed a superb 25-yard strike that cannoned off the crossbar.

Klopp’s men finally made the breakthrough just seconds before half-time.