According to ex-Liverpool frontman Michael Owen, there is more story to Sadio Mane denying an opportunity for the spot-kick.
Former Liverpool forward Michael Owen thinks that Sadio Mane avoided winning a penalty kick against Chelsea on Thursday night. This is because he does not want Mohamed Salah to score from the spot-kick considering their goal rivalry.
During the course of the match, Antonio Rudiger made a tackle on the Senegal international. But Mane did not go down in the box having received the opportunity to do so.
Owen believes that the striker stayed on his feet in the hope of challenging his long-term hunt with Salah for the Golden Boot. Nevertheless, the Reds eventually suffered from their fifth consecutive loss at Anfield in the Premier League.
“There was an occasion in the first half where every single Liverpool fan in the world probably thought ‘Penalty!’ – I couldn’t believe he didn’t go down,” Owen said on Optus Sport.
“I’m not advocating he does, (but) normally you see attacking players (go down)… I just wonder whether he is thinking, ‘Hang on a minute, I’m going to score because if I don’t stand on my feet Mo Salah is going to get another penalty’.
“We all know how competitive attacking players are. We all know how selfish, in a way, strikers are. These players have been going for the Golden Boot in the last couple of seasons.”
Owen continued: “I just wonder, I might be far off the mark, whether if he was dancing around a player thinking he could get a shot off if he is thinking ‘this is my opportunity to score’.
“The competitive nature between him and Mo Salah. It might be a wild theory, but we’ve seen them not passing to each other when one is in a perfectly better position than the other, and it just makes me wonder.”
“We are talking about selfishness and [being] a little bit disgruntled, we’ve seen Salah shaking his head [when substituted], we know how much they want to win the Golden Boot, I just think a couple of times there I’ve seen Sadio Mane go down there.”
“Two games on the spin when the opportunity is there… it just made me think a little bit.”