Manchester United boss David Moyes refused to criticise Ashley Young after the winger went down easily to win a penalty area in the 0-0 Champions League draw against Real Sociedad last night.

Young has been heavily criticised for diving on several occasions in the past and after the winger was booked for simulation in the Premier League match against Crystal Palace in September Moyes said:

"I've always said I don't like diving. He deserved to get booked. I don't want any of my players diving.”

Last night, however, Moyes avoided commenting on Young's part in the penalty incident and claimed that it was the referees decision to make.

"I thought there were some strange decisions all night and that was another one of them," he said.

"I have seen it again. The boy tugs him in the box. The referee is two yards away from it and decides to give it. He's got a penalty kick for a decision tonight. I don't know about his reputation but the referee is there and he gave it.

"The referee made decisions all night. He's the one who saw fit to award a penalty and send a player off. I thought the referee made the decision and that was the referee's choice."

Former Manchester United midfielder Roy Keane thought Young had “conned” the referee by making the most of the slight tug.

Keane told ITV: "He's obviously played for it. If you are a Man United player and you see a player getting tugged back, you want him to go down.

"Ashley Young's obviously gone down too much over the last few months. He's been heavily criticised in England but we are in a foreign country and it's more accepted. But he's almost conned the referee there. If he scores the penalty, as a United player you would be delighted, but he's conned the referee there." 

A host of other pundits and former footballers, including ex-midfielder Ray Wilkins, have lambasted Young in the wake of yesterday's incident. Robin van Persie missed the subsequent penalty but the former Aston Villa star is facing a huge media backlash as a result of his actions.

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Topics:
Football
Ashley Young
Manchester United