Phil Neville has spoken out against the decision to award Liverpool a very controversial penalty against Newcastle United on Boxing Day.

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah went down unnaturally in the area following a slight tug on his arm from Magpies’ full-back Paul Dummett. The Egyptian was controversially awarded the penalty which he converted to give Jurgen Klopp’s side what was ultimately an unassailable lead.

Following the decision, Neville found sympathy for Dummett, saying the decision to give the penalty was 'harsh'. 

Speaking on BBC's Match of the Day (quoted by thisisfutbol), the current England Women’s manager condemned the play, saying: “If I was Paul Dummett I wouldn’t be happy about his being given against me. I know he puts his arm there but he goes down so easily Mo Salah."

He added: “It’s hardly a touch for me. It’s a contact sport. I think it was harsh.”

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Despite Neville's comments, according to Sky Sports News, Salah will not receive retrospective action over the incident.

There does definitely seem to be a slight tug on the Egyptian as he runs into the box, which is probably why he will be exempt from any punishment despite the unnatural manner in which he threw himself to the ground. 

Ultimately, the cheaply awarded goal was a disappointing sucker punch to Newcastle as they had been well in the game up until that point - being just 1-0 down when the penalty was given. They'd even missed a key headed chance through Joselu early on when the score was still level.

But the penalty ended up being a turning point from which Newcastle could not recover. The Reds went on to win 4-0 with Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabinho getting in on the act as Liverpool extended their lead at the top of the Premier League table.