Liverpool's Mohamed Salah
Thursday Dec 27, 2018. 11:00
Newcastle United head coach Rafa Benitez believes Mohamed Salah's "soft" penalty played a key role in the club's defeat away to Liverpool on Boxing Day.
The Magpies suffered a 4-0 loss at Anfield as Jurgen Klopp's troops stretched their unbeaten run in the league, while also opening a six point lead atop the English Premier League standings.
Dejan Lovren opened the scoring before Salah's controversial penalty three minutes after the break doubled the hosts lead.
The Egypt international fell to the ground after being tugged back by his arm by Paul Dummett inside the penalty area. Salah duly dusted himself off and converted from the spot to continue his scoring streak.
"The soft penalty in the game made the difference, we were in the game at 1-0 at half-time, but when we conceded the second goal it was more difficult for us to react against a very good team," Benitez is quoted as saying by Sky Sports News.
"The second goal was crucial, it gave them more confidence and was more difficult for us, you have to take more risks, be more open then you make more mistakes and pay for that."
Salah, 26, has scored 12 goals, assisting a further seven in 19 Premier League games this season.