Jurgen Klopp rebuked Mohamed Salah for diving on a day when Liverpool failed to secure their place in next season’s Champions League.
A 1-0 defeat at Chelsea, to Olivier Giroud’s first half header, means the Reds must win against Brighton on next Sunday’s final day to guarantee their place in the Premier League top four.
Salah was shown a yellow card a few minutes after Giroud had put Chelsea in front for going to ground on the edge of the hosts’ penalty box as he attempted to round Gary Cahill.
“It was a dive or he waited for the contact. I’m not sure,” Klopp said.
“That’s not what I want to see, that’s not what he wants to do. It happened.”
Liverpool’s 43-goal forward is still chasing the 38-game, single season Premier League record of 32 goals—he has 31—and had a frustrating afternoon against his former club.
Klopp expressed annoyance that Antonio Rudiger, Salah’s former Roma team-mate, continually grappled with the Egyptian without punishment.
“He can do much better. He will score again no doubt about that,” Klopp added.
But the Reds boss insisted his side performed well and the midweek exploits in Rome which secured a place in the May 26 European Cup final with Real Madrid had no impact.
Third-placed Liverpool have a three point advantage over fifth-placed Chelsea, who are now two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham. Spurs lost at West Brom on Saturday.
The Blues play Huddersfield at home on Wednesday and at Newcastle on next Sunday’s final day; Spurs meet Newcastle and Leicester, respectively, on the same days, at their temporary Wembley home.
Antonio Conte had almost written off Chelsea’s Champions League qualification hopes a month ago.
The head coach said: “One month ago it was impossible to imagine to arrive at the end and fight for a place in the Champions League.
“Now there is hope. We are getting in every game three points. Our opponents are dropping points. But our future is not in our hands.
“We’re putting pressure on the teams that stay ahead of us. I don’t know if this will be enough at the end of the season. But we have to try.”
Conte said he would rotate his options against Huddersfield and expressed hope he would be able to call upon striker Alvaro Morata, who was unavailable on Sunday due to a minor injury.