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Fulham boss accuses Darwin Nunez of “diving” to win “embarrassing” penalty

After Liverpool beat Fulham, thanks to a first-half penalty won by Darwin Nunez, opposition boss Marco Silva accused the forward of “diving.”

Mo Salah converted a penalty down the middle for the second game in a row, to make it 1-0 and earn Liverpool their fifth consecutive Premier League victory.

The deciding spot-kick came 39 minutes into the match when Nunez pounced on the ball in front of Issa Diop, who brought the striker down with his right leg.

Following the game, Fulham‘s manager, Silva, insisted it shouldn’t have been a foul.

Clear contact was made by the centre-back on Nunez, but the attacker was arguably already going to ground.

Silva said the way Liverpool scored was “embarrassing” and that he finds it “almost impossible to understand” why the Reds were awarded the spot-kick.

“Losing 1-0, the way they scored the goal, I have to say that is embarrassing,” he told reporters.

“To give a penalty like that, and after the VAR didn’t take that penalty, we cannot understand. It is difficult, really, to understand.”

The Portuguese added: “I know what I’m going to [hear] the next few days, that it was a harsh decision.

“When Darwin touched the ball, he started to dive himself and touch the left leg into Issa.

“They are going to say that is harsh but the referee gave it and after the VAR cannot take it.

“It’s always the same conversation. It’s almost impossible for us to understand that decision.”

Silva continued to allude to comments from the referee to Diop in the second half of the game, with the centre-back maintaining that it was “clearly not a penalty.”

He also questioned VAR’s role in the decision, saying: “The referee made a mistake and VAR is there to take that decision and to not allow the penalty to go on, that is clear for me.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 3, 2023: Fulham's manager Marco Silva during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It was otherwise a quiet night for referee Stuart Attwell.

Jurgen Klopp was on his best behaviour after being charged by the FA for his post-match comments on Sunday, that have been deemed to “imply bias” on Paul Tierney’s behalf.

The Liverpool manager has since reflected and said: “I think the refs think that I questioned their integrity, in the moment when I’m calm sitting here, I don’t do. Of course not.”

Klopp is expected to be given a multiple-match touchline ban.