By Keith Hackett

14th Dec, 2021 | 6:45am

Ex-Premier League referee swipes at dangerous Salah as controversial Liverpool footage emerges

Aston Villa can have no complaints with the decision to award Liverpool a penalty in their 1-0 win at Anfield, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee admitted Mohamed Salah now has a reputation for going to ground easily but he had “no qualms” with the decision to penalise Tyrone Mings’ challenge.

Salah advanced into the box and passed Mings before going down after a tangle of legs between the pair, as shown by the BBC’s Match of the Day programme.

As quoted by the Mirror after the game, Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard claimed Salah fouled Mings first and therefore a penalty should not have been awarded and his side should have been given a free kick.

The Liverpool winger converted from the spot to clinch his side all three points on Gerrard’s return to Anfield.

Asked for his assessment of the decision after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “I didn’t have any qualms with it.

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“I thought referee Stuart Attwell was in a good position, made the judgement, so for me that’s a penalty kick.

“We all understand the reputation Salah has got when he enters the penalty area. If you’re a defender, you need to take a bit more care.”

Salah’s goal was his 21st across all competitions for Liverpool this season in just his 22nd appearance.

A Reds source told Football Insider on Saturday (11 December) the club are increasingly hopeful of securing their talisman to a new contract.

In other news, Kieran Maguire has revealed Aston Villa are ‘thinking outside the box’ as Wes Edens and Nassef Sawiris near a mega-money deal.