sport news IAN LADYMAN: Mohamed Salah was fouled to win his penalty against West Ham... ...

Graeme Souness was right to say on Sky that Mo Salah dived in winning a penalty for Liverpool against West Ham. But he was wrong to suggest a foul had not been committed.

West Ham defender Arthur Masuaku hacked at Salah's leg, which is not permitted.

Referee Kevin Friend would have been within his rights to award a penalty and then book Salah for exaggerating his fall. There is no reason at all why that cannot happen.

Mohamed Salah has been accused of diving during Saturday's win against West Ham at Anfield

Mohamed Salah has been accused of diving during Saturday's win against West Ham at Anfield

Players are often fouled and then dive to make sure the referee is in no doubt. It is still a form of cheating and should be punished.

Salah has form. He does dive. Anyone who can't see that isn't looking properly and he has other flaws, too. He can be horribly greedy, for example.

One of the benefits of doing this job is seats from where you see the pattern of play developing early.

With Liverpool, it's common to see Salah in possession with options left and right. Very often he will not even consider either. He will merely press on in possession with just one thought in his mind. Goal.

At Burnley last season it all spilled over when he ignored Sadio Mane. Mane — no doubt fed up of a recurring pattern — lost the plot a little, ranting at Salah with such energy that he was soon substituted.

Graeme Souness claimed Salah fell unnaturally during Liverpool's victory against West Ham

Graeme Souness claimed Salah fell unnaturally during Liverpool's victory against West Ham

Salah went to ground under pressure from Arthur Masuaku and Kevin Friend gave the spot kick

Salah went to ground under pressure from Arthur Masuaku and Kevin Friend gave the spot kick

Liverpool won 3-0 but the issue lingered a little. Salah was eventually called to Jurgen Klopp's office to discuss it, only to reveal to his manager that he and Mane had already moved on.

So Salah must occasionally be as troublesome to play with as he is to play against but the bottom line is that the Egyptian is worth it simply because the really great players usually are. At Cristiano Ronaldo is spoken of fondly. He also dived. And he was also was greedy, too. Maddeningly so.

Senior players at Old Trafford used to complain to Sir Alex Ferguson about it but speak to them now and they won't mention it. 

Two of the most team-orientated players of Ronaldo's time are Roy Keane and Gary Neville but they will talk only of his drive, his work ethic and of course the number of trophies (eight) he helped them win. In European competitions, Ferguson played Ronaldo up front as he knew he wouldn't work hard enough when United didn't have the ball. 

Replays showed Masuaku made contact with Salah's leg, although his fall has been criticised

Replays showed Masuaku made contact with Salah's leg, although his fall has been criticised

Wayne Rooney had to fill in on the left of midfield. We can imagine how Rooney felt about that. But in 2008 United won the Champions League and Ronaldo scored in the final.

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