The British media came down hard on Danny Welbeck following his dive against AC Milan on Thursday.
The Arsenal striker earned his side a penalty in the first half with a fall under minimal contact and it didn’t take long for the criticism to come pouring in.
"Danny Fellbeck. Blatant dive,” Match of the Day host Gary Lineker wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Alan Shearer added: “Yes a BLATANT dive from Welbeck. Ref was conned.”
Despite scoring twice in Arsenal’s 3-1 victory at the Emirates Stadium, Welbeck received a zero out of 10 rating from the Mirror, who wrote: “The dive gets a big fat 0 and nothing can excuse it. Highly embarrassing.”
It’s clear that football has a problem with diving and attempts to eradicate it from the game, including retrospective punishments, clearly haven’t worked.
Watch: Welbeck's dive
Gennaro Gattuso has reacted to Welbeck's dive
AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso would be forgiven for being furious with Welbeck but he isn’t.
The feisty Italian has already forgiven the England international and instead blames the officials for awarding the penalty and not noticing the dive.
Indeed, the fifth official behind Gianluigi Donnarumma’s goal had a perfect view of the incident yet he somehow missed Welbeck’s dive.
Either that or he failed to inform the referee, which is simply unforgivable.
“The British media went down hard on him because they are a very sporting nation and believe in honesty,” Gattuso said in his press conference on Saturday.
“I know how they think there, because I played in Britain when I was 20 years old. I won’t judge, because when I was a player, I tried to take advantage of little incidents.
“Nobody wants to lose and I’d be a hypocrite to say he was wrong. The truth is it wasn’t his mistake, but that of the officials who awarded the penalty.
You can understand Gattuso’s point, especially when he admits he attempted similar acts as a player.
Arsenal had just fallen 1-0 behind on the night and so Welbeck was ready to do whatever it took to restore the Gunners’ two-goal lead.
However, that doesn’t make diving any more pleasing to see.
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