'Mane dived for the penalty' – Liverpool star criticised after Reds perfect start continues

The Senegal international was adjudged to have been fouled in stoppage time by Marc Albrighton, but Kevin Kilbane thinks he went down easily

Sadio Mane dived to win the stoppage-time penalty which saw Liverpool snatch a dramatic 2-1 victory at home to Leicester, according to pundit Kevin Kilbane.

James Milner stepped up in the 95th minute to fire home the spot-kick which extended the Reds’ Premier League winning run to 17 games, after Mane was adjudged to have been fouled by Marc Albrighton.

The decision was checked and verified by VAR, but caused controversy with some adjudging Mane to have made the most of minimal contact – a point of view with which Kilbane clearly has some sympathy.

“I don’t think it’s a penalty, but there was contact initially from Albrighton on Mane,” he told BBC Final Score.

“But Mane pulls away and then dives. They’re not going to overturn that because that’s not a clear and obvious error because there actually was contact in the lead-up to it.

“But I think Mane fell over and dived to win the penalty, I really do.”

Mane had previously scored in the first half to see Liverpool ahead at the break, before James Maddison equalised for Brendan Rodgers’ side 10 minutes from time.

But Milner’s last-gasp effort maintained Liverpool’s perfect start to the new season with eight games played, leaving Manchester City with an eight-point gap to bridge once again ahead of their game with Wolves on Sunday.

Rodgers was left disappointed on his return to Liverpool after three years in the Anfield hot seat and he, too, thought the penalty was a soft one.

“To concede a 95th-minute penalty was difficult to take,” the Leicester boss said. “I thought we deserved a point.

“You come to the European champions and you have to be resilient and deal with pressure and show your own qualities. I felt we did that.

“I thought we could go on and win the game. We conceded a goal when we were in control.

“I thought it was a very soft penalty; not clear and obvious, that is for sure but when the referee gives it, it is hard for the VAR to go against it. But [I am] very proud of the team and the personality we showed. To come here and be that competitive, it shows we are very much on the right path.”

Liverpool’s next game sees them head to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United after the international break, while Leicester will return to a home fixture with Burnley.

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