Football

Fabianski appeared to pull away from any contact .

Gary Neville responds to Marcus Rashford's penalty incident

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The sight of Marcus Rashford hurtling towards the ground in the box against Swansea is one that nobody wants to see again.

Unfortunately, this was one of those occasions when the TV replays gave a far better picture than the one available to the referee, who pointed to the spot.

Wayne Rooney dispatched the penalty, though as is now the norm at Old Trafford, the visitors later made it 1-1 thanks to a brilliantly dispatched free-kick from Gylfi Sigurdsson.

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Jose Mourinho will no doubt be disappointed with the result.

However, there are few things more heartbreaking than the suggestion that the wholesome, baby-faced, loveable Rashford has been corrupted by the ills of the Premier League.

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The jury is out on whether he only went to ground through fear of injury as Lukasz Fabianski slid towards him.

Equally, the debate rages on over whether it is perfectly acceptable for players to dive.

Of course, there are two schools of thought here; the first, is that diving is a blight on the game and players guilty of it should be punished heavily.

In many leagues around the world, though, there is nothing cleverer than winning a penalty by any means. Some fans would put this down to simple cultural differences, but very few would have expected it from Rashford - if that is what he was doing.

Is it part and parcel of the game? 

Tottenham's Harry Kane and Manchester City's Leroy Sane also saw their spot-kicks scrutinised, and both were accused in some quarters of exaggerating the contact.

Ian Wright has slammed the incidents in his column in The Sun, describing Rashford's as "simulation".

"Marcus Rashford went looking for contact with Lukasz Fabianski, didn’t get it when the Swansea keeper pulled away, and went down anyway," Wright insisted.

FBL-ENG-PR-MAN UTD-SWANSEA

It's only just over a year since the England international made his debut for the Red Devils, so he has a lot to learn and plenty of time to iron any bad habits out of his game.

Yet, United legend and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville clearly believes the starlet did nothing wrong, tweeting: "he doesn't need to justify himself for winning his team a penalty!"

It's a bold statement from Neville and it got quite the reaction:

Sadly, it's probably an indictment of the way the game's going that this notion is even entertained, but Rashford was supposed to be one of the good ones.

Is it clever to win a penalty through simulation? Have your say in the comments. 

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Topics:
England Football
Europa League
Football
Manchester United
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Paris Saint-Germain

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