Sheffield United vs Liverpool: Sadio Mane praised for not diving to win penalty

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Liverpool are back in the hunt for a top-four finish following their 2-0 victory over Sheffield United on Sunday evening.

Goals from Curtis Jones and a Kean Bryan own goal gave Jurgen Klopp’s side a crucial three points to move them within two points of West Ham in fourth.

In truth, it was a comfortable victory against a side who look certain for relegation.

But it felt as though it could have been even more comfortable if the champions really wanted to score more goals.

In fact, in the closing stages of the match, they could have been awarded a penalty if Sadio Mane hadn’t been quite so honest.

In the 87th minute, Liverpool were 2-0 ahead and were easing to three points. Mane picked up the ball on the left wing and looked to take on Ethan Ampadu. He did just that as Chelsea loanee lunged in. He completely missed the ball and caught Mane. However, the Senegalese decided to stay on his feet as the ball rolled out of play.

The game pretty much over and it was hardly a talking point.

But it was something that the commentators picked up on and it perhaps points to a wider issue within football.

“Isn’t it great to see Sadio Mane stay on his feet there,” said Sky Sports co-commentator Andy Hinchcliffe.

“There is some contact there but he stays on his feet. Really good.”

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Commentator Bill Leslie added: “If he goes to ground, it’s a penalty there.”

Was Mane right to stay on his feet?

It’s all well and good for neutral commentators to praise Mane for his actions. But imagine if it’s 0-0 in the final few minutes of the match and Mane doesn’t go to ground. Liverpool fans - and Klopp - would be fuming with him.

You can’t exactly blame players for going to ground easy if they’re never going to get a penalty when they don’t.

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