Four minutes after entering the fray as a second-half substitute, Arturo Vidal won a penalty for Bayern Munich in their German Cup semi-final clash against Werder Bremen from which Thomas Muller converted.
However, replays showed that the Chile international had produced one of the most blatant dives of the season.
Janek Sternberg slid in on Vidal but didn’t make contact. That, however, did not stop the Bayern midfielder from throwing himself to the ground and looking towards the match officials in the hope of being awarded a spot-kick. (Scroll down this page to watch the video).
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To rub salt into Werder Bremen’s wounds, Vidal was then seen celebrating after Muller scored from the spot to complete his brace.
In fairness to the referee, Tobias Stieler, he admitted after the match that he had made a mistake by awarding the penalty.
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Video: Arturo Vidal takes a dive
Referee apologises for awarding penalty
"I am sorry," Stieler told reporters, per ESPN, after looking at the footage of his decision. "It's all happening really fast, and I was in a good position. I saw contact, but there was none."
Muller admits it was a dive from Vidal
Muller also admitted Vidal had dived but caveated that by insisting his teammate merely jumped to avoid Sternberg’s rash tackle.
"I still need to convert the penalty,” the Germany international said on ARD TV.
He added: ”He didn't really hit him. Sternberg takes a lot of risk with that challenge, and it was a case of Arturo jumping to avoid the touch. But it was a dive. The goal counts regardless. There is no excuse for it. It shouldn't be like that -- if a similar penalty was awarded against us, I'd strike a more serious note."
Bremen CEO blames Vidal - not the referee
Thomas Eichen, Werder Bremen’s CEO, pinned the blame on Vidal for diving rather than the referee for failing to spot the incident.
"It's a dive," he said. "That's clear, but I won't reproach the ref for a decision like that. He can't always see it. Vidal waits for the contact, does not get it, but has the idea to take the foul."
Bayern, thanks to Muller’s brace, have now booked their place in next month’s final where they will take on the winners of the other semi-final between Hertha BSC and Borussia Dortmund.
Muller unimpressed with team's performance
Despite the win, though, Muller was unimpressed with his team’s performance.
"We won 2-0. We did what we set out to do and what was the most important thing which was making it to the next round," he told reporters, per Goal. "In my opinion there were a few too many mistakes from our side, too many misplaced passes.
"Bremen made life difficult for us, but we've had a lot of better games."
Should Arturo Vidal face a retrospective ban for his dive? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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