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LIVERPOOL 2 WEST HAM 1 Graeme Souness points an accusing finger at Mo Salah as Liverpool scrape past West Ham at Anfield

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Liverpool's Diogo Jota (centre) celebrates scoring his side's winner

Liverpool's Diogo Jota (centre) celebrates scoring his side's winner

PA

Liverpool's Diogo Jota (centre) celebrates scoring his side's winner

Liverpool legend Graeme Souness accused Mohamed Salah of falling in the box in a 'totally unnatural way' as he earned his side a penalty in their 2-1 win against West Ham at Anfield.

Diogo Jota's 85th minute winner earned Liverpool all three points as they moved to the top of the table and extended their unbeaten record at home in the Premier League to a club-record equalling 63 games, matching the Bob Paisley's team between February 1978-December 1980.

Yet Souness's comments about Salah's tumble in the box will raise a few eyebrows, even though TV replays suggested the Egyptian was kicked by Hammers defender Arthur Masuaku.

"If I'm the referee, I'm not going that," declared former Liverpool captain and manager Souness on Sky Sports. "That is two players coming together in the box and Salah has falling in an completely unnatural way.

"I might get into trouble here, but I'm with West Ham manager David Moyes here. That is a harsh penalty. You might say in the modern game that's a penalty, but it's not a penalty.

"I've seen Salah do this time and time again. I think it's careless from the defender and he has given Salah a chance to throw himself to the ground.

"If you are 10 yards away from that, you can see that Salah has fallen down in an unnatural way, you don't give it. But the guys in the black jerseys making these decisions keep getting it wrong."

West Ham boss David Moyes backed up the comments from Souness as he stated: "I'm amazed that a penalty was given in the first half. I can't believe that we're allowing those sorts of penalties to be awarded.

Meanwhile, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted he was relieved to still be playing football as the Covid-19 pandemic takes hold around Europe once again.

His Premier League champions moved to the top of the table as Diogo Jota scored an 85th minute winner to secure a 2-1 win against West Ham at Anfield, with Liverpool struggling to fire once again on a night when youngster Nat Phillips made an impressive Premier League debut.

"The world is in a difficult place and we are happy to be allowed to play football," declared Klopp. "So we have to try everything to win football games.

"It's not about shining, or flying, or whatever, it's about hard work... that was absolutely necessary against this opponent. It's not about the simple stuff because they are too good for that - you need to be cheeky, tricky as well, and we were.

"We had a lot of good football - not 500 chances or whatever but enough. It's a real challenge for the concentration levels, and we did it. I don't want to see us in a moment be brilliant because it's not possible, I want to see us dig in and we did that, and i'm so, so happy."

He also paid tribute to youngster Phillips, who was named as man of the match as he turned in a polished debut.

"Nat Phillips... wow," added a beaming Klopp. "I asked him before the game if he was nervous. I told him I would be. He was awake from the first second, played his stuff and had a good game.

"He's a brilliant guy, smart guy, intelligent, everything. He's not easy on the eye, he's not Messi but who cares? In the air, he's a monster! He was incredible.

"For the first game, I think everyone can imagine how nervy that must be after a long wait. It's a crazy story, three years ago he was on his was to America to college. Twelve Championship teams wanted him and to me it was clear he was going, and I was fine with that - and it didn't work out for whatever reason, and it's great."

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