Mark Clattenburg has criticised Liverpool boss, Jurgen Klopp over his comments about Manchester United, claiming certain Liverpool stars were equally guilty of diving to trick referees into awarding penalties.
Klopp had said United had more penalties in two years than the Reds had had in five-and-a-half years. This was after Liverpool lost 1-0 to Southampton.
But Clattenburg, known not to spare one’s blushes when it comes to the beautiful game, tore into the Red’s boss claiming he (Klopp) “sounds like a hypocrite” after he inferred that United players sort to win games by penalties.
”The likes of Mo Salah and Mane are just as capable of employing similar tactics,” the 45- year-old referee wrote in an article on Daily Mail.
The Englishman noted that “there were a couple of things to take from Klopp’s comments after that game. First, he sounds like a hypocrite if he is suggesting United’s players are looking to win penalties.”
Other Nigerian players like Manchester United striker, Odion Ighalo, and Shehu Abdullahi and several African stars such as Salah, Gervinho, Yaya Toure, to name a few, also marked the holiday period in style as seen below:
European player of the year Robert Lewandowski is one of 10 players on the shortlist for the Best FIFA Men’s Player award unveiled Wednesday, alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Kylian Mbappe.
Besides Polish striker Lewandowski, one other winner of the Champions League with Bayern Munich made the list, Spanish midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who joined Liverpool in September.
The English champions also count Senegal’s Sadio Mane, Egyptian Mohamed Salah and Dutchman Virgil van Dijk on the shortlist.
Paris Saint-Germain, beaten Champions League finalists, are represented by Mbappe and Neymar.
Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos complete the list.
Argentinian coach Marcelo Bielsa, who led Leeds into the English Premier League, headlines a list for the men’s coach award, which also features Bayern’s Hans-Dieter Flick, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp, Sevilla’s Julen Lopetegui and Real Madrid’s Zinedine Zidane.
Liverpool struck twice in two minutes through Naby Keita and Mohamed Salah to avoid an embarrassing early Champions League exit by winning 2-0 in Salzburg on Tuesday.
The European champions needed to avoid defeat against the Austrian champions to book their place in the last 16 and victory ensured they did so as winners of Group E ahead of Napoli.
Salah had been guilty of missing a host of big chances as Liverpool walked a tightrope for nearly an hour, but made amends with a sumptuous finish from a narrow angle after Keita’s header had settled the holders’ nerves.
Salzburg had scored 87 goals in 24 previous games this season, including three when Liverpool edged a seven-goal thriller between the two back in October.
But Norwegian wonder kid Erling Braut Haaland was thwarted as the Reds recorded their first clean sheet in the Champions League this season.
Liverpool needed goalkeeper Alisson Becker to be at his best early on as the Brazilian blocked from Takumi Minamino and Haaland.
However, the better chances were coming for the Premier League leaders at the other end.
Salah dragged his first big chance wide on his favoured left foot at the end of a brilliant Liverpool break from one end of the field to the other.
Keita had been rewarded for his goalscoring return to the team in Saturday’s 3-0 win at Bournemouth and seemed keen to make a mark against his former side.
But the Guinea midfielder failed to beat Cican Stankovic when played in by Salah’s slick reverse pass in first half stoppage time.
Salah was the culprit of more missed opportunities at the start of the second half when he fired over from Sadio Mane’s brilliant through ball and seconds later he was denied by Stankovic as he tried to round the goalkeeper.
Liverpool’s profligacy could have been punished when Haaland had his big chance to live up to the hype linking him with a host of Europe’s top clubs, but the 19-year-old hit the side-netting with just Alisson to beat.
Seconds later the visitors finally made the breakthrough when the two ex-Salzburg men in Mane and Keita combined.
Stankovic rashly rushed off his line as Mane sped onto Andy Robertson’s pass and his dinked cross was headed into an unguarded net by Keita.
A minute later, any hope left for Salzburg to spring an upset evaporated when Salah implausibly scored from the most difficult chance he had all evening.
The Egyptian seemed to have been forced too far wide on his right foot as Stankovic raced from his goal once again, but Salah somehow bent the ball with unerring accuracy into the far corner.
In each of the last two seasons Liverpool have also needed to get points in their final group game before going onto reach the final and no one will want to face Klopp’s men again come the knockout stages.
A first Premier League title in 30 years may be the priority on Merseyside with an eight-point lead over Leicester at the top of the table.
Mohamed Salah ensured Liverpool survived a major scare with the winner in a 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur that saw the Premier League leaders restore their six-point advantage over Manchester City.
The Egyptian smashed home a 75th-minute penalty, the 50th Anfield goal of his Liverpool career, as the Reds came back from going a goal down just seconds after kick off to maintain their unbeaten league record with their ninth win in 10 matches.
Salah’s decisive spot-kick was awarded after Serge Aurier allowed Sadio Mane to gain a goalside position on him before tripping him in the process of making a tackle.
It was a decision that angered the visitors but one that allowed Liverpool to complete a second-half comeback that was started when Jordan Henderson cancelled out a dramatic early opening goal from Harry Kane.
After recent question marks over Liverpool’s ability to maintain their majestic early-season form, this was an impressive win that came after Kane had put Spurs ahead just 47 seconds into the contest.
The 26-year-old’s header made him the joint-third highest scorer in Tottenham’s history with 174 goals.
It was also one of the simplest after Moussa Sissoko sparked a scrambling counter-attack and set Son Heung-min racing upfield.
– Kane shocks Anfield –
The South Korean’s powerful strike from the edge of the area took a wild deflection off the head of Dejan Lovren before hitting the left-hand post but the rebound fell kindly for Kane to stoop and head into the gaping net.
It was a lead that lasted until the 52nd minute, when a Henderson cross was headed clear and turned back into the area by Fabinho.
Danny Rose appeared to nudge Roberto Firmino in the back but, with referee Anthony Taylor unmoved, the ball continued to the corner of the six-yard area where Henderson hit it on the half-volley into the Spurs goal.
Minutes earlier, Spurs might have doubled their lead when Son was sent clear on the end of a long clearance by keeper Paulo Gazzaniga, rounded Alisson Becker but could only strike the cross-bar from a tricky angle.
But the equaliser was no more than Liverpool deserved after a dominant first-half spell in which only an inspired performance from stand-in goalkeeper Gazzaniga maintained the visitors’ lead.
In one breathless, four-minute spell, Liverpool carved out five excellent chances with Gazzaniga peerless in dealing with them.
The best of the Argentine’s masterclass saw him first save from Salah and then keep out a fierce follow-up blast from Firmino.
The keeper also did well to tip over a Virgil van Dijk header and parry Trent Alexander-Arnold’s powerful shot in a first half that ended in fractious fashion before Liverpool opened the second in a similarly dominant mood.
Before the equaliser Gazzaniga saved well once more, from Firmino’s close-range header, and afterwards the keeper somehow blocked a shot from the Brazilian by sitting on the ball on his goalline.
Having taken the lead, Liverpool weathered the concluding minutes in relative comfort although Alisson was forced to save well from Son and from an injury-time header from Toby Alderweireld.
Mohamed Salah scored his first goal of the Africa Cup of Nations as hosts Egypt secured a place in the last 16 on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ahmed Elmohamady prodded Egypt ahead on 25 minutes after a wicked Salah cross and the Liverpool star slammed in a second shortly before half-time to spark frenzied celebrations at a packed Cairo International Stadium.
Record seven-time champions Egypt rode their luck at times as DR Congo twice struck the crossbar in the first half but the Group A leaders held firm to join Nigeria as the first teams through to the knockout phase.
Egypt overcame the distraction of Amr Warda being banished from the squad earlier in the day over mounting sexual harassment allegations. The claims surfaced earlier this week on social media platforms. Multiple women posted screenshots and testimonies of Warda’s alleged lewd comments.
Coach Javier Aguirre fielded the same side that defeated Zimbabwe 1-0, with centre-back Ahmed Hegazy sporting a mask after breaking his nose in the opening game of the tournament.
Salah was guilty of missing a hatful of chances in the curtain-raiser and this season’s Premier League joint top scorer again threatened inside five minutes here when an interception broke his way only for the Egyptian to skew wide under pressure.
After four days of small crowds, a capacity 75,000 crowd again turned out to cheer on the hosts in the capital, but they were nearly silenced when Marcel Tisserand slammed against the bar at a corner.
DR Congo came to Egypt as one of the most unpredictable qualifiers having finished third in 2015 only to make a timid quarter-final exit two years ago, and they fell behind for the second straight game as Elmohamady forced home after the ball fell kindly to him following an aerial challenge with Christian Luyindama.
Having created the opener with his vicious right-wing cross, Salah then stung the palms of Ley Matampi with a powerful 25-yard free-kick.
Egypt would be rescued by the woodwork once more though when a deep cross was nodded back across goal by Bokadi Bope before Jonathan Bolingi’s looping header bounced back off the bar.
With his side riding their luck, Salah rose to the occasion and settled Egyptian nerves two minutes before half-time with a typically brilliant finish.
Played into space down the right by Mahmoud ‘Trezeguet’ Hassan, Salah skipped inside Tisserand and ripped a crisp low drive inside Matampi’s near post to cue a volcanic eruption from the masses of delirious Egyptians supporters.
Mohamed El Shenawy produced an excellent sprawling second-half save to claw out a Jacques Maghoma header, but despite an improvement on a horror first outing, DR Congo now know they must beat Zimbabwe in their final game in order to possibly advance as one of the four best third-place finishers.
Football fans were overjoyed on Saturday as Liverpool were crowned European champions after winning 2-0 against their English counterparts Tottenham Hotspur.
Coming in as favourites, the Reds sealed the win and their sixth European Cup in a grinding game after Divock Origi fired home the team’s second goal in the 87th minute.
Those gathered erupted with joy in unison after Mohamed Salah converted a penalty to open the scoring as early as the second minute.
“I’m happy that Salah won because he’s our son” said Seif Hegi, 21, a university student from Cairo.
“The match was like a typical Premier League game, that was highly defensive…but it’s a huge feat because no other Egyptian footballer has achieved this before,” he told AFP surrounded by throngs of boisterous fans in a bustling cafe.
“This is a positive development for Egyptian soccer,” he added.
In a busy laneway in an upmarket suburb packed with cafes and cacophonous cries from ardent Liverpool fans, some 400 Egyptians cheered loudly with every touch of the ball for national icon Salah.
He is due to represent the North African heavyweights in the Africa Cup of Nations later this month.
The slow moving match with a few chances picked up momentum in the last 20 minutes with more attempts at goal for both teams.
One of the few Spurs supporters in the Reds-dominated crowd Antoine Philip, 25, who works in an insurance company, was critical of the referee’s performance.
“That penalty was not right in the first minute. He should have gone to the VAR. Liverpool were undeserving but it’s good progress for Tottenham to get this far,” he said.
– ‘You’ll never eat alone’ – In anticipation of the final, other Egyptians paid tribute to the Reds feasting at the “Liverfuul” cart which serves up hot dishes of “fuul” (fava beans) in Ain Shams, a working-class suburb of Cairo.
Mohamed Ahmed, 31, a DJ turned street food entrepreneur, came up with the idea with friend Mohamed al-Sayed before the start of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of daytime fasting due to end next week.
The cart, which only operates between 11 pm and 3 am, is emblazoned with Sayed’s red and green design – after the Liverpool football club logo.
Liverpool’s legendary anthem has been amended on the cart to read: “You’ll never eat alone.”
“There’s no one who doesn’t love Salah. We’re avid football fans so the idea clicked one day while we were sitting around, and the response has been huge from the locals,” he told AFP.
“As Egyptians we like to get together, especially during Ramadan, and have a communal meal. So the tagline came naturally and Sayed designed it perfectly.”
Ahmed Adel, a 25-year-old engineer, spotted photos of the cart on Facebook in early May and has been a regular customer.
He is circled every time by dozens of hungry patrons in a carnival-like atmosphere of loud music and football commentary on flat screen televisions.
Named after Liverpool’s Swiss star, Shaqiri-sterma, a mix of eggs and pastrami, is his favourite. A dish named “Mo Salah” is also on the menu.
“The food is great and the atmosphere is friendly,” he said.
Ahmed, the food cart operator, said he was happy that his business had become a gathering point for the club’s fans in the capital Cairo.
“I’m a winner either way, it’s not just about money for me,” he said.
“The first week of business we were running at a loss, but with word of mouth and social media, it has really picked up,” Adel added.
He was proven right in Liverpool being crowned European champions against first-time finalists Spurs. It came 12 months after they suffered a heartbreaking loss to Real Madrid in last year’s final in which Salah went off injured.
The race to be crowned the English Premier League’s leading scorer this season ended in a three-way tie on Sunday as the African trio of Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mohamed Salah shared the Golden Boot.
Gabon forward Aubameyang scored twice for Arsenal at Burnley to join Salah and his Liverpool teammate Mane, who netted a final-day double against Wolves, on 22 goals for the Premier League season.
Sergio Aguero, of champions Manchester City, was next in line with 21 goals.
Salah has now won the award two seasons in a row but this term’s winning tally was the lowest by players in English football’s top-flight since 2010/11 when Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez shared the Golden Boot with 20 goals apiece.
Aubameyang was delighted to be a member of an all-African trio of winners, saying in quotes reported by the BBC: “I share this trophy with two other guys I like, great players and African. We are representing Africa, that’s cool.
“I am happy we won, and I am sharing this trophy with two other guys I like.
“My teammates knew about the Golden Boot, I said nothing. I did not want them to play and only focus on me. I am a team player.”
For Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp there was the satisfaction of knowing he had a played a part in the careers of all three of this season’s Golden Boot winners, having signed Aubameyang from Saint-Etienne in 2013 when he was in charge of Dortmund.
“Auba too? Do they have three boots?” said Klopp, who suffered the last-day heartache of seeing Liverpool finish just one point behind City.
“It is good. They are all my players,” the German added.
Salah scored 32 league goals last season, a record for a 38-game Premier League campaign.
The 26-year-old is the sixth player to win the Golden Boot award in consecutive seasons.
Liverpool usurped Manchester City to take a top spot in the Premier League but needed a James Milner penalty nine minutes from time to see off lowly Fulham 2-1 at Craven Cottage on Sunday.
The on-form Sadio Mane put the visitors in front midway through the first half, but a rare defensive mix-up between Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker allowed Ryan Babel to give his former club a huge scare 16 minutes from time.
Fulham’s awful defending all season is the reason they are heading back to the Championship after just one season back in the top flight, and the hosts gave Jurgen Klopp’s men a much-needed gift when goalkeeper Sergio Rico bundled over Mane and Milner secured all three points from the spot.
Liverpool now hold a two-point lead over City, but the champions have a game in hand.
Mohamed Salah became the leading English Premier League scorer this season after netting twice for Liverpool in a dramatic 4-3 triumph over Crystal Palace at the weekend.
The Egyptian superstar has notched 16 goals, two more than Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal and England sharpshooter Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur.
It was a profitable day for African attackers at Anfield with Senegalese Sadio Mane also scoring for league leaders Liverpool.
MOHAMED SALAH, SADIO MANE (Liverpool)
Salah raised his season tally to 19 in all competitions by scoring twice to keep Liverpool four points clear at the top by defeating Palace. The Egyptian had fortune on his side thanks to some errant goalkeeping by 39-year Julian Speroni, making his first appearance in over a year, and was also lucky to escape without a yellow card when trying to win a cheap penalty just before half-time. Mane grabbed his 10th of the season with a smart finish in stoppage time.
SEYDOU DOUMBIA (Girona)
The Ivorian scored but could not prevent Girona losing a five-goal thriller to Real Betis in La Liga. Doumbia stooped low to head in after an error from goalkeeper Pau Lopez as Girona pulled 2-1 ahead, only for Betis to score twice in the second half.
KARL TOKO EKAMBI (Villarreal)
Toko Ekambi earned Villarreal a point by grabbing a late equaliser in their 1-1 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao. The Cameroonian slid in to score from close range with 19 minutes left to ensure his side avoided defeat in their fight against relegation.
Gervinho earned a penalty and scored the winner for Parma in a 2-1 victory over Udinese. Parma were awarded a VAR penalty for a Rodrigo De Paul foul on Gervinho which Roberto Inglese converted after 11 minutes. The veteran Ivorian scored the winner after 68 minutes, surging forward for the midfield to slot in his sixth goal of the season for promoted Parma, who are three points off the Europa League berths.
SALIF SANE (Schalke 04)
The Senegal centre-back put in a solid display in Schalke’s 2-1 win at home to Wolfsburg which pulled them clear of the Bundesliga relegation places with their Champions League last-16 tie against Manchester City looming next month. Sane was unable to stop Wolfsburg midfielder Elvis Rexhbecaj equalising midway through the first half before Schalke defender Daniel Caligiuri scored the late winner with his second goal of the game.
JORDAN IKOKO (Guingamp)
The Democratic Republic of Congo defender endured a day to forget as his side crashed to an embarrassing 9-0 loss to Paris Saint-Germain. Ikoko and his Guingamp team-mates were ripped apart by the runaway league leaders as Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani accounted for all but one of the goals as PSG set a new club record for the biggest home win.