Paul Merson accused of ‘disrespecting’ Dominik Szoboszlai during Liverpool win

Liverpool vs Bournemouth in pictures

Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson has been accused of being ‘disrespecting’ Dominik Szoboszlai for failing to be able to pronounce the Hungarian’s surname correctly. The new Liverpool signing has slotted straight into the heart of Jurgen Klopp’s midfield and won a contentious penalty against Bournemouth in a 3-1 victory on Saturday.

After an underwhelming fifth-placed finish last season, Liverpool opted to rebuild their midfield over the summer transfer window. Fabinho and Jordan Henderson were allowed to head to the Saudi Pro League, with several others – James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – also released.

Alexis Mac Allister, Wataru Endo and Szoboszlai have all been acquired and the latter has been a nuisance for opponents since his arrival – but also for Merson. The Hungarian has started both of the Reds’ Premier League matches this season, and Merson does not appear to have got to grips with the pronunciation of the ex-RB Leipzig midfielder’s name.

Providing updates of Liverpool’s match with Bournemouth for Sky Sports, the ex-Arsenal star was heavily criticised on social media for failing to learn how to say Szoboszlai ahead of the match.

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One football fan (@dianescott14) wrote on Twitter: “If Paul Merson is going to commentate on LFC games can someone please teach him how to say all the player names, it is embarrassing and disrespectful.” Another (@InPlayCareer) added: “How does Paul Merson still have a job? Isn’t professional at all. Can’t pronounce names, doesn’t build or describe the game well.”

Some viewers also felt that it was disrespectful of Merson not to learn his name, with @MattyladKRO writing: “Hey @skysports, any chance of getting rid of the incoherent mumbling Paul Merson ..either do your homework on players names or do us all a favour and do one …total embarrassment.” Another (@AyeshaBlackwood) shared the same view: “Please don’t put Paul Merson on Liverpool games again, can’t pronounce Szoboszlai for the life of him.”

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Szoboszlai was at the heart of the action at Anfield in the first half, going down under a challenge from Joe Rowell on the edge of the penalty area. Replays showed that there was minimal contact to prompt Liverpool’s new No 8 to drop to the ground with such theatrics.

Referee Thomas Bramall pointed the spot nonetheless, with VAR also agreeing with the on-field decision. Mohamed Salah failed the convert his penalty at the first time of asking, with Neto making a smart stop, but was able to tap the ball into the empty net at the second time of asking.

Liverpool won 3-1 despite going 1-0 down early on. Luis Diaz cancelled out Antoine Semenyo’s goal before Salah’s strike. Diogo Jota then scored from close range in the second half to secure the three points despite Alexis Mac Allister’s red card.

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