Crystal Palace midfielder James McArthur is unsure why Liverpool star Sadio Mané was not sent off during his side's 2-1 defeat at Selhurst Park.

The Senegal international first received a yellow card from referee Neil Swarbrick after he was adjudged to have dived in the box on 24 minutes, but Palace fans were incensed.

Mané deliberately handled the ball outside the Reds’ penalty box after the hour, only for the referee to decide against giving him his marching orders.

McArthur told News Shopper: “I think a lot of games he probably would have got a second yellow. I am not sure why [he was not sent off]. He grabs the ball and when he does I do not know why it is not a booking, to be honest.

“He [referee Neil Swarbrick] has seen all the reactions during the game and it is not like for the game we are saying, ‘Send him off, send him off’. But it is a clear opportunity for us to score and to grab the ball back ... it has penalised us, to be honest.

“We feel hard-done by, but it is the nature of the game. We go again next week and we need to get points on the board.”

When asked about the rules concerning the decision to not give Mané his marching orders, the 31-year-old also said: “Listen, the referee will tell you those rules. They will know better than us.

“But in the heat of the moment you obviously feel like it has cost us.”

Roy Hodgson’s men have all but accrued four points against top six sides this season, having lost both home and away to Liverpool this season.

With West Ham dispatching relegation-threatened Southampton at home by three goals on the same day, the last six games are vital in ensuring Palace feature in the top-flight next season.

McArthur added: “All the games are hard. It does not matter if you are playing top teams or someone struggling at the bottom, everyone can win. That is why it is the most competitive league in the world.

“We need to go and play the way we did today and, obviously, be as clinical as the last game against Huddersfield.”