Salah, Kane nominated for Player of the Year

Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and David Silva lead a six-strong cast that also includes the prolific Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane for the 2017-18 Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year award.
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is the other nominee.

Despite blowing the chance to seal the Premier League title in a thrilling 3-2 derby defeat to Manchester United last weekend, City still boast a 13-point lead at the top of the table heading into Saturday’s match against Tottenham.

De Bruyne is expected to be City’s leading candidate having contributed a league-high 15 assists and seven goals from midfield as Pep Guardiola’s have marched towards the title.

However, the Belgian may be beaten to the award by Salah’s free-scoring form.

The Egyptian has scored 39 times in all competitions, including in each leg as Liverpool dumped City out of the Champions League quarter-finals 5-1 on aggregate.

Salah leads the way in the race for the Premier League golden boot with 29 goals to Kane’s 25.

Sane and Kane are also on the shortlist for the Young Player of the Year award alongside City goalkeeper Ederson and forward Raheem Sterling, Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford and left-back Ryan Sessegnon, who has starred in Fulham’s push for promotion from the Championship.

Kane Accused of Diving

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane hzs been accused by Virgil Dijk of diving and Eric Lamela of exaggerating to get a penalty in Sunday’s high tensioned  2-2 Premier League draw at Anfield.

The visitors were awarded two penalties were awarded the visitors, which Kane scoring one of them which was adjudged the last kick of the day

Kane missed the other spot-kick after Loris Karius was adjudged to have brought him down.

But Dutchman Van Dijk, who was penalised for the second penalty, said neither should have been given.

“I think the first penalty was offside and I think it is a dive,” Van Dijk said. “You see him (Kane) diving clearly and no-one is talking about that.

“There is a lot of discussion about whether it is offside, yes or no, but I think it was offside as well. The referee made his decision together with the linesman. It was good for us that it was saved.”

Television sound recording of referee Jon Moss and his assistant revealed confusion about whether the ball had been accidentally played on to Kane by Liverpool’s Dejan Lovren. Moss decided to award the kick even though he said he had “no idea” if the defender had touched the ball.

Van Dijk was equally critical of the second decision after Lamela collapsed theatrically under his challenge.

“For the second penalty, I see him coming and I try and hold my leg in, he just pulled his body in front of the ball and he goes down,” Van Dijk said.

“The ref said play on and I was very disappointed that the linesman said otherwise. Unlucky I think.

“First of all it was offside and secondly he just put his body in front of me. I don’t think that is a pen and the same with the first one.”

The FA will decide whether to take retrospective action against Kane or Lamela, with both penalties likely to be reviewed by an independent panel.

Asked if he thought Kane should be punished for diving, Van Dijk added: “That is not something for me.

“I thought it was a dive – that is my opinion and the referee thought it was no offside and no dive and he gave a pen. Good for us that we saved it.”