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Michael Owen makes shocking claim about 2 Liverpool stars after Chelsea defeat

Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League
Newcastle United v Manchester United - Premier League
Joshua Ojele
Modified 05 Mar 2021

According to former Liverpool forward Michael Owen, the selfish and competitive nature of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane came into play in the loss against Chelsea on Thursday.

This comes in the wake of a mistimed challenge on Mane from Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen barely 10 minutes into the game.

The Liverpool forward beat the Danish international to meet a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross before he was caught slightly by an ill-timed challenge in the penalty area.

While most players would have gone down under the contact - Mane inclusive, as we have seen over the years - the Senegalese star opted to get on the end of his touch and score.

Credit to Mane for staying strong and on his feet, but this was met with frustration by many Liverpool fans, who wanted the forward to go down under the challenge.

This prompted Liverpool forward Michael Owen to state that while Mane could have easily won the penalty, he did not want teammate Salah scoring another penalty.

Speaking to Optus Sport, Owen said: “I couldn’t believe he didn’t go down there and look, I’m not advocating he does.

“It was a great touch and he possibly thought he might get a chance at the end of it ... but he did something similar a week ago (against Sheffield).
“I just wonder, and it might be a little bit of devious thoughts creeping into my head, Mo Salah is the penalty taker in this team, and if he (Mane) thinks he’s getting a chance to score he thinks ‘well I’m going to score, if I don’t stay on my feet, Mo Salah’s going to get another penalty’.”

Owen then claimed that this could be down to the competitive nature of both Liverpool superstars, as they have gone toe-to-toe for the Golden Boot in recent years.

“These players have been going for the golden boot for the past couple of seasons.
“It might be a wild sort of theory, but the competitive nature of him and Mo Salah...we’ve seen them not passing to each other when one of them is in a much better position to the other,” Owen added.
“We’re seeing a little bit of selfishness, we’re seeing a little bit of disgruntled behaviour - Mo Salah shaking his head (when he was subbed off).
“I just think a couple of times there, I’ve seen Mane go down for those kind of opportunities...and (to not do it) two games on the spin? It just made me think a little bit.”

Liverpool’s Premier League woes continue after damaging defeat against Chelsea

Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League
Liverpool v Chelsea - Premier League

On Thursday, Liverpool fell to a fifth straight home defeat as they were beaten 1-0 by a rejuvenated Chelsea side. This dire run of result stretches as far back as 13 games, as they have picked up just three wins in that period.

They are now seventh in the Premier League and could drop to ninth should Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa win their games in hand.

Liverpool are now 18 points behind high-flying league leaders Manchester City, who look certain to clinch an impressive third league title in four years.

While Liverpool’s horrid form could be a result of their injury-hit defensive unit, their misfiring attack will have to take a fair share of the blame. Given the plethora of attacking impetus in Jurgen Klopp’s squad, they have shockingly failed to find the target from open play since the turn of the year.

A major highlight of this is Klopp’s decision to remove Mohamed Salah early in the second half against Chelsea, with the Egyptian shaking his head in disbelief after being replaced by Oxlade-Chamberlain.


While the league title is out of reach for Liverpool, they will aim to at least make it into the top four places. They are also still in the UEFA Champions League and will look to produce better performances to make up for their poor domestic run.

Published 05 Mar 2021, 18:30 IST
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