In recent weeks, Manchester United winger Ashley Young has been at the heart of a controversy over conning referees into giving penalties by diving. It is no wonder, then, that referees feel under pressure every time someone goes down in the box.
Simulation, diving and cheating were the words used by West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce after their recent away defeat against newly-promoted Hull City. It is no wonder he was angry as two bad decisions from referee Kevin Friend land in my top three bad penalty decisions from this weekend.
3). Leroy Fer tug on Kenwyne Jones - Stoke v Norwich
Referee Anthony Taylor missed a clear-cut penalty at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday when it seemed as if Jones was being dragged to the ground by Fer. The Dutchman admitted in an interview after the game that he pulled Jones’ shirt inside the box. It was 1-0 Norwich at the time of the incident.
2). Joey O’Brien push on Robbie Brady - Hull v West Ham
Within the first 15 minutes at the KC Stadium, referee Friend had to make a decision on whether or not O’Brien’s push on Brady was enough to award a penalty. It was clear to everyone there was minimal contact between the two players and Brady went down far too easily.
1). Jake Livermore handball - Hull v West Ham
Another decision swung badly for the away side as Friend seemingly missed a blatant handball by Tottenham loanee Livermore. A late penalty shout was waved away by Friend as the cross came in Livermore appeared to move his arm and elbowed the ball away from Kevin Nolan. Nolan was furious and no wonder why.
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