Liverpool were unable to beat an unexpectedly strong Fulham side in their opening game of the season on Saturday (August 6), eventually finishing the game with a 2-2 stalemate.
One of the major talking points from the game was the controversy surrounding Aleksandar Mitrovic’s penalty, as the striker has been accused of diving.While driving into the final third in search of Fulham’s second goal, the sharpshooter managed to get the ball past Virgil van Dijk. However, there was some contact between his foot and that of the Liverpool defender’s before Mitrovic crumpled to the ground in the box.
There was enough contact for the referee to give a penalty. However, some, including ex-Chelsea Andy Townsend, believe the striker took a dive. Speaking on commentary for TalkSPORT, Townsend explained:
“I saw Van Dijk say to the referee, ‘No chance,’ and it looked like Mitrovic went down a little easily, for me. Does he offer out a leg towards Van Dijk? I’m not sure he touches him but either way, it’s not good defending. I didn’t see a lot of contact and if there’s no contact you can’t give it. It looks like a dive to me. He hasn’t touched him.”
“The referee has got to have a look at the monitor there. If there is serious doubt over whether that was a penalty, he simply has to look at the monitor. It’s a contentious pen, I didn’t see a lot of contact. I’d love to hear the talk between the refs. We should be capable of that. Nobody in this ground had a clue what was happening, so we should be doing it.”
While the Fulham striker may have gone to the ground a bit easily, it’s hard to argue with the replays, which show some contact between the two players. Either way, Mitrovic scored a brace against Liverpool. The Cottagers will be excited to see what more he can offer in the Premier League.
Fulham and Liverpool play out 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage
Newly promoted Fulham gained a creditable draw against Liverpool on their return to the top flight of English football. The west London side arrived in the Premier League as champions of the second tier. On Saturday, they gave a good account of themselves against one of the best teams in Europe.
The Cottagers took the lead through Mitrovic in the first half after just 32 minutes and would end the half in the lead. Liverpool came back in the second half through Darwin Nunez, who came on to score on his league debut to draw the Reds level.
Mitrovic won and converted a penalty just eight minutes later, with the Serbian being brought down clumsily by Virgil van Dijk in the 72nd minute. Liverpool made sure they avoided defeat, with Mohamed Salah drawing them level to make it 2-2.