31 Aug 2014

Out of Order: Ex-Red slates 'outstanding' £20m Liverpool star for controversial Tottenham incident. Fair?

After Monday's disappointing defeat to Manchester City, Liverpool bounced back today with a dominant 3-0 away victory against Tottenham Hotspur, which marked the much-anticipated debut of £16m signing Mario Balotelli. There are many positives to take from the Reds outstanding performance, but the result is marred by yet another act of blatant gamesmanship cheating.

In my view, £20m-rated Joe Allen cheated his way to a penalty, and after watching the incident from several different angles, I don't see how there is any other conclusion.

The evidence is (arguably) damning:



* Yes, there is 'contact', but Eric Dier merely slid his hand across Allen's chest; he didn't grab his shirt, or do anything to cause the LFC midfielder to go to ground.

* Why does Allen cry out in apparent pain when he goes down?! What happened in the incident to elicit such a dramatic response? Absolutely nothing. It's play-acting to sell the dive.

* Allen obviously felt the contact, and decided to fall over. He probably could've stayed on his feet, but (IMO), he chose to go down. Again: the contact is not significant enough to knock him over, and it's (arguably) clear from the video that he dived.

It's ridiculous. Allen - hailed last season as 'outstanding' by Brendan Rodgers - had plenty of space in which to run into, but he chose to fall down instead, knowing that he could take advantage of the very slight contact.

When asked about the penalty on Match of the Day, former Liverpool goalkeeper 'keeper Brad Friedel basically accused Allen of diving. He said:

"It's a soft penalty, or 'clever play' as some would say. Any person on the street gets touched like that they don't fall over".

Exactly. I hate this kind of 'gamesmanship'; Cheating is defined as 'acting dishonestly or unfairly in order to gain an advantage', and in my view, Allen unfairly went down in the box 'in order to gain an advantage'.

It's cheating, pure and simple, and if a Spurs player had done the same, I'm sure Reds fans would be up up in arms right now.

Liverpool put in an outstanding performance overall, but for me - and I'm aware I'm in the minority here - incidents like this negate the overall impact of the victory.

Still, it's great to see the Reds bounce back from the City defeat in such an emphatic manner, and with two wins in the first three games (and other top teams stuttering), Liverpool are in a good position going into the infernal international break.

Author:



122 comments:

  1. should be a retrospective red card for simulation

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  2. YOUR always looking to complain

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  3. What happens den if the refs wave a stone wall penalty away?
    I'm not saying players should dive but refs should also be punished if they miss stone wall pen decisions if there are going to be rules to punish divers.

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  4. I thought it was pretty clear cut to be honest. He put his hand across joe allen, and tried to pull him back, not the shirt. Managers tell players to go down when they're fouled, and dier fouled allen.

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  5. Its really very simple, Don,t use your hands in the area then you won't give away soft pens!

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  6. Nicolas Chamberlain11:42 pm, August 31, 2014

    Finally we have and show the 'gogme' that is needed in the top.
    We never surround referees and never seem to ask for cards, so I give Allen the benefit of the doubt. Besides this dubious penalty, but hey there was contact, he played a good game. Great win today. We were still a little bit shaky at the back, central that is, but our attacking threat was there again.

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  7. Allen has been one of our best players in the first 3 matches imo. He pulled Allen so Allen couldn't get around him, definite penalty.

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  8. Didn't like to see that, especially as had he stayed on his feet he would have been in an excellent spot to whip in the kind of dangerous low cross that usually end in an own goal.

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  9. Allen cries out in apparent pain whilst he's going down - be honest, is the contact enough to elicit that kind of response? This is what makes me feel like it's a dive. There's no need for him to cry out as if he's just been shot. There's no contact capable of hurting him.

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  10. It was a very clear penalty, unless there have been some major rule changes recently which allow players to reach across an opponent as they're running past and drag them back. That's all there is to it. Brad Friedel is simply sulking because his team were well beaten. Move on.

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  11. As a Spurs fan, its frustrating.
    On the balance of chances, Liverpool deserved to win.
    At the same time this incident came at a pivotal moment in the game and could have altered the whole of the second half.
    Yet Adebayor had a much clearer shout for a penalty late in the game, he didn't go down and the ref didn't give it. There seems to be a causal relationship today - go down, whether the contact justifies it or not, and you get a penalty; don't go down even though the contact is prolonged and heavy, and you won't get a penalty.


    I get annoyed at fellow Spurs fans (and other team's fans, as well, when they say the same), for suggesting that the moral is to do the same, at the slightest touch throw yourself down. But at the same time, I can't help but think that until the FA do something about this inconsistent refereeing, they might be right.

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  12. all players blatantly cheat, Gerrard did it today taking a free, he deliberatly moved the ball from where he was told to take a free kick, when did you ever see a throw in taken from where it went out, how many jersey's are pulled during a corner etc etc it will never stop

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  13. Clear pen
    This is drivel

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  14. No, not pain, he's just calling for the foul, you see him gesture with his right arm at point of contact. I always say stimulation and exaggeration are two very different things in modern football

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  15. 0 - 3 .... Great victory Reds. IMO Joe Allen had a good game, well played Joe Allen.

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  16. Moreno what a buy he was, £12m absolute steal! Manquillo, Lovren and Moreno were fantastic signings and make Liverpool much better in defense.. Sakho we can do without. But this summer Rodgers did an excellent job buying players and long may that continue. We have a big squad now full of quality players so next couple of markets we can do what City and Chelsea do buy buying one or two world class players.

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  17. 12-0 over 3 games now :-D

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  18. The 'Ex Red' highlighted is a current Spurs player! Please dont use biased opinions to make your argument. If you dont like what you see then fair enough but thats the culture of the GAME. Allen (IMO) is a top professional...if he felt impeded then I would stand by him and not cry cheat at the first opportunity....afterall he's no Ashley Young.

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  19. It was a minor foul, and that doesn't give Allen a licence to cheat.

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  20. whopeedooo,that will win you the league,beating a poor spuds team,tattybye.

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  21. Thing is he is though,that's exactly what young would do!

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  22. Tottenham were top of the league and playing well.

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  23. but is a minor foul in the box not a penalty?

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  24. Only saw the BBC highlights and from those it appeared Liverpool had a great game. Was delighted to see Moreno run 2/3rds the length of the pitch and score. - Didn't think the Spurs defender's contact was strong enough to bring down Allen though. Don't think he appealed for a penalty but clearly he played for one. Referees have a tough job these days. They need instant reference to a three man video panel to help.
    Great win Liverpool!!!

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  25. He doesn't cry out in pain .. he cries out foul because dier has put his hand on his chest after he has turned him him in the box at pace .... tell me if that happens around the midfield spot is it a free kick ?? i think it definitly is.. end off

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  26. Err...not really. Young would go down when not impeded.

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  27. He didn't appeal for a penalty. Typical fan revisionism. He's not even facing the referee, and it all happened in a split second.

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  28. Didn't cry out in pain at all, shouted for a penalty after he was fouled.

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  29. And how do you know he 'shouted for a penalty' - Where is the evidence? That is a massive assumption, and based on the evidence in the video, it's more probable that he cried out in mock pain. Unless you're a lip-reader, of course...

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  30. It's an assumption he cried out in mock pain, to me it seems obvious he shouts for a penalty.

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  31. This sensationalistic piece can be negated with the complete opposite view: Rash 20YO Novice Makes Fatal Error - Drop?
    I would not support Allen's behaviour IF he had actually cheated, ie he had not been touched and conned the ref. Point is, Dier went to grab Allen, putting a firm hand on his chest which then moves to Allen's arm. I believe the hand on the arm was the point when Allen realised he had the young lad. Knowing someone has fouled you is clever. Unfair? Maybe, but as I know every team in the Prem would try and gain an advantage, I back Allen to the hilt and I suggest the young lad from Tottenham learns quickly!

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  32. A foul is a foul jamie...if he's shirt had not been tugged, he would be in a great position to cause damage to spurs defence. Its not allen's fault that he was grabbed. In realtime, the gut feeling was penalty!! Spurs player at complete fault for creating such a situation......very naive on his part!!

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  33. Player is fouled, player claims penalty, penalty is awarded. Nothing appears to be amiss.

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  34. I love, just love when Liverpool play brilliant, win and sicken all the haters.
    We are Liverpool, lalalalal

    We are Liverpool, lalalalalala

    We are Liverpool, lalalalala

    We're the best football team in the land, YES WE ARE!

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  35. Yes, lets concentrate on someone's dubious interpretation of a penalty when we have just destroyed a buoyant Spurs at WHL; that seems like the correct response to the day's achievement. It was a weak foul, but a foul; if it was in the centercircle the ref blows for a foul, if its in the penalty box the ref blows for a foul - how is that a difficult one to understand. Massive assumption being made about Allen 'screaming in agony when he was touched', on what evidence? Looked to me like he was shouting 'hey' or something similar to indicate it was a foul, but I cannot be sure, so how can you. Cannot understand why anyone would base an article on something unprovable on a day we tonked Spuds again - beggars belief!

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  36. Looking at the video, there is strong evidence to support the contention that Allen cried out in mock pain. There is no evidence to back the claim that he was calling for a penalty. That is just biased LFC fans trying to justify the blatant cheating on display (IMO)

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  37. Its what they call 21st century football..... like saying why are 2 footed tackles not allowed anymore!! Im old school myself but theres no point moaning about it coz it will not change. Need to move with the times and except. Can't beat them, then join them as they say.

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  38. No realism here, the evidence you speak of wouldn't stand up in any court !

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  39. But aren't you making a similar assumption? Where is your evidence? You're writing it like it's a fact he cried out in pain but only he and players near him at the time know.

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  40. Impossible to agree with that opinion, as I am entitled to. There's no evidence to back up either assumption, but you seem intent on claiming it was in pain. In addition, I don't recall seeing the Spuds players protesting vehemently at the decision. Seems like a non-story, but fair plays to you for trying to offer something negative from today's display just to balance the overwhelming performance of the team today.

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  41. If balotelli had really been on his game and sharper, the game would be over in the first half.

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  42. blatant cheating would refer to no contact and diving .. or throwing a leg at a defender to make contact and dive .. Dier does make contact with his hand on Allens chest , free kick in my book .. soft but its technically a free kick so i dont see where all this is coming from ... just my opinion..

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  43. I am entitled to read whatever I like on the web & challenge any opinion I feel is unjustified. And in what way am I not debating the issue; just because it conflicts with your opinion doesn't mean its complaining. To me it appears you have no justifiable response...

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  44. Yes, I'm making an assumption, but the evidence in the video backs up my assumption much more than the contention that Allen was calling out for a penalty.

    All we have is the video evidence, so obviously, assumptions will be made based on that. This is normal practice.

    In the video (not just the one in the article, but the real-time vid, plus several other angles), there is arguably no evidence to support the claim that Allen is calling out for a penalty.

    It is, however, a fair assumption to suggest that he is crying out in mock-pain.

    In my view, some fans are just saying he's calling for a penalty in a blatant bid to defend Allen. It's pro-LFC bias, whereas looking at the vid objectively, it's more likely that he - like so many others players - is engaging in typical modern gamesmanship.

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  45. Nonsense. You are welcome to challenge any view here, but do so in a non-flippant, non-sniping manner. Debate in a civil manner, or not at all. And as for having 'no response' - I've already given my response.

    Re 'complaining' - in your earlier post, you complained about the nature of the article. That is totally irrelevant to the issue at hand. Stick to debating the actual issue.

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  46. You just contradicted yourself Jamie. You said Allen went to ground to gain an advantage ? Well that's exactly what the Tottenham player did. He put his arm across Allen to "gain" an advantage. Allen made more of it of course but it was absolutely stupidity by the Tottenham player. You win some you lose some. To call him a cheat ? Very harsh

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  47. Fair play to the author on this site, just noticed that it is a liverpool website and im pleased to see that the author has been able to see the other side of the story. Its attitudes like that that will help root diving out of the game because it shouldnt be considered okay for someone to dive even if they are on your team. I thought this when gareth bale played for spurs as well, diving is such unsporting thing to do.

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  48. dier cheated and got punished

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  49. Its really simple, dont dive and you wont be a cheat.

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  50. I watched it in real time and on several vids, to me it couldn't be more obvious Allen was DEFINATELY fouled and calls out for a penalty. Because your opinion is different doesn't mean it's fact. It's fairly obvious from responses here that if we were a jury, we would conclude Allen didn't cheat !!

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  51. "do so in a non-flippant, non-sniping manner" - I will do this when you start following your own advice. If you can't take criticism of your opinion, then don't offer it...when you do get posters challenging your opinions with valid content, don't delete them - it may be your site, but you letting it down - we are done!

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  52. Pete suggested otherwise but I'm quite sure that if Allen didn't go down he wouldn't have gotten the penalty. I don't really like it, it was obviously a dive, but he's just played the game according to current accepted standards. If refs want players to stop overacting then they should give penalties for contact in the box even when the player stays on his feet. They don't.

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  53. If Sakho had of done it and gave away a penalty, I would've been very angry at Sakho. It was so stupid to grab a players arm like that to make up for your bad positioning.

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  54. Don't even want to be involved in this debate. He should have never touched him in the first place. Why is nobody questioning that? Then he would have not reason to fall down. This was a brilliant team performance and we just rocked the show at WHL. Every team does it so why to talk about this. It was a penalty and no more talking about it.

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  55. So you agree it was a deserved penalty.

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  56. "do so in a non-flippant, non-sniping manner" - I will do this when you
    start following your own advice. If you can't take criticism of your
    opinion, then don't offer it...when you do get posters challenging your
    opinions with valid content, don't delete them - it may be your site,
    but you letting it down - we are done! Ha ha deleted again just because it validly conflicts with your opinion...very poor...

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  57. I didn't say my opinion is fact. Jesus, what is with people? My view is an opinion, just like yours, and I'm arguing in favour of my view *just like you*.

    Plus, just because a majority believe X is correct doesn't make it absolutely right. The majority regularly and repeatedly get things horribly wrong. How do you think Mr Blobby and Fireman Sam made it to no 1 in the singles charts? ;-)

    The majority also use to believe that the earth was flat, and that you'd fall off the edge of the earth if you sailed too far out to sea.

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  58. He is not crying out. He is just say what the hell are you doing!? Some people just perceive things as they want. For that reason there is no reason to talk and argue about it. It was a penalty.

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  59. Not in the slightest. Allen dived. It's cheating.

    It only appears to be a foul because he went down.

    If Allen had not gone down, continued his run, and put in a cross (but fluffed it) would the ref have given a penalty?

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  60. As your rules state, stick to debating the actual issue, not nonsense about Mr Blobby or centuries old ideas about a flat earth !

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  61. Sometimes, the defender could make contact with his boot ever so slightly but the ref would have very little chance of seeing it. IMO if Allen just turns to the referee or spins away from the challenge he will still be awarded the penalty because the foul is so clear and intent. Allen was goal side and Dier made a big mistake. Clear foul clean pen. It was possibly Adabeyor who should have been awarded a penalty too, I think it was Lovren who was grabbing him like Skrtel in the box. It's the only way to stamp out defenders being (unfairly) all over the attackers.


    From what I read, JK wants Allen to play on after a clear foul in the box. I just don't understand that. Allen went down to guarantee the call in his favour, and no one wants to see that, but the referee should be giving the penalty regardless. It's like we are discussing that it's not a penalty in the first place, when it clearly was.


    Allen is also yelling for the penalty and not crying out in pain. If that was Sturridge, you would have seen his typical reaction as if he had been shot in the back with an arrow, when he flings his whole body forward and drops to his knees. The type of reaction no doubt influences referees.

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  62. Dier was beaten and stuck his arm out trying to pull Allen back so he could recover. It's a typical foul on the half way line, so why is it not a foul in the box?

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  63. So in your view it's not a penalty to reach out and push a player running past a defender in the box. I disagree. Light contact or not, that's quite clearly a foul. That means Dier would have cheated and gotten away with it. I don't think that's ok. That's what I keep saying about this issue. Penalties are too often not given for what are clear fouls because of some idea that it has to be a hard foul to deserve it. Same goes for the he shirt pull on Adebayor in the Liverpool area. Clear foul but not given. I think the refs should be calling those fouls regardless of if a player falls down like a clown.

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  64. The player should play on, yes, unless he is legitimately forced to go down because of the foul.

    Deliberately falling down just because there's contact is cheating. This mindset promotes cheating, and destroys the game because you then have players actively waiting for the slightest contact, and then going down, even when the contact is nowhere near enough to knock them over.

    It's pathetic, and Allen should be embarrassed. I'd have no problem with it if he legitimately went down because the force of the 'foul' knocked him over, but that's not the case (IMO).

    Like so many other cheats, Allen felt some contact, and then deliberately chose to fall over in a bod to con the referee.

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  65. When the powers that be in football finally stamp out cheating,it will then be very hard to cheat (Video replay).Until then why should LFC set the example for the rest of the world to follow?Everyone does it,and LFC will have it happen to them.Get the video replay happening and it will stop.YNWA

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  66. I agree with your view that it would be ideal and beneficial if every player had the 'play on' mindset.


    But it still seems to me that you are ignoring a clear foul in the box which results in a penalty. A defender cannot stick out his arm and try to pull the attacker back. The point is that Allen should not have to dive, because it's clearly a foul. Again, it's a foul on the halfway line (usually play on because of advantage) so why is it not a foul in the box?

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  67. I actually thought Joe Allen was excellent today, although he did go floundering to the ground under minimal contact. If it had been a spurs player in our box, my biggest frustration would've been with our defender for being dumb enough to extend his arm and have a silly tug at a player, in your own box and right in front of the referee.

    I take your point of it being distasteful to watch grown men exaggerating contact and flinging themselves to the floor. However I think every attacker in the premier league would've done exactly what Allen did. The lad Dier had a rush of blood and snatched out at him. Contact was minimal but you make the ref make a decision. If he doesn't do that, Allen doesn't have any excuse to go down so no penalty. I'm not condoning diving by any means but if our fullback had done that, we'd be saying he needs to be wiser

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  68. Maybe the best option then is for players to simply stop in their tracks and expect the foul to be called. There will be plenty of times when the ref just waves it on but it's better then flinging themselves to the ground like bad stuntmen. It's a clear foul and I'm glad someone finally sees the point I've been trying to make.

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  69. I agree, and the point about Dier should be the main concern, not Allen. If there's no contact and Allen manufactures or simulates something then he should have been booked (second time) and sent off. This was not the case though.


    You see this type of foul all the time. Either the attacker maintains balance and gets away and the advantage is played, or there could be a good opening but the attacker is brought down and it's almost always a yellow card for the defender. It's a clear foul and I don't know why that has been overlooked in this instance.

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  70. It's not a clear foul, though. It only appears that way because Allen threw himself to the ground. IMO, he could've easily stayed on his feet.

    Dier did not grab Allen's shirt, so how is he trying to pull him back? The video clearly shows there's no shirt-pulling. Dier put his hand across Allen's body - that happens all over the pitch without fouls being given.

    Take the scrum in the box at corner kicks, for example - defenders have their hands all over place, pushing and shoving etc, yet penalties are rarely given.

    If Allen had stayed on his feet, then overrun the ball, the referee almost certainly would not have given a penalty. Allen's disgraceful dive convinced him to award the spot-kick.

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  71. The issue isn't whether or not Allen oversold it. The issue is whether or not it's a foul, and using one's hands to obstruct an opponents movement is, by definition, a foul. It doesn't matter how hard you pull, that action slows a player down even the tiniest bit and it's a foul by the letter of the law. The problem here isn't with Allen...referees in the game have taught players that if they're fouled and stay on their feet they're less likely to get a call, so players go down. Yes, Allen wasn't pulled to the ground. Yes, it was a foul, and a penalty because it occurred in the box...plain and simple. Sturridge against Man U last year? Dive, no contact. This? Penalty. And Dier does grab his shirt - this gif isn't high quality, watch an HD replay and it's clear.


    Allen had a good day, as did most of our team. I guess it's not surprising though that an article on this website about this game would be all about this incident and not even mention Alberto Moreno. Can't we talk about what's actually important, like the way we bounced back and the way the new signings played and how we're getting up to full match speed and had a great result, points wise and psychologically?


    For anyone else whose actually interested in intelligent discussion of Liverpool and their play, check out the Anfield Index podcast - I found it recently it was a breath of fresh air after coming to this site for so long. They actually talk about the team, both positives and negatives, rather than just the latter. Great stuff.

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  72. Pretty sure you've got this one wrong.
    1) There's contact in the box
    2) That contact involves the defender's hands and arms
    3) Allen's lip movements looks like he's going Hey not Ow and you can see he's turning his head towards the ref as he's falling and lifting his right arm to show he thinks he was fouled, which he was, rather than him crying out in pain.
    There's no doubt, he makes a meal of it, but the rules are clear it's a foul.
    Besides which further down you've said it was a minor foul (replying to rotchie the red), minor or not, it's a foul and it's in the box so it's a penalty.
    I get that you're not a fan of cheating, and want to stamp it out, which is fine, but you need to get the distinction right between cheating (going down under no contact) and gamesmanship (going down under light contact). Neither is commendable but one is within the rules of the game.


    For me this decision wasn't the contentious one, it was the fact that Adebayor wasn't given a penalty when Lovren was tugging on his shirt that was the poor decision.

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  73. Gamesmanship and cheating are exactly the same thing. Fans are the ones who make the false distinction, usually when they're trying to defend players on their own team.

    If Allen does it, it's gamesmanship; if an opposing player does the same and LFC concede a penalty, it's suddenly 'cheating' (as proven many times in the past)

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  74. Maybe Dowd thought it was the straw that broke Dier's back. Dier should have been carded for the foul on Balotelli earlier in the game. He had been pushing the envelop;e the whole match.

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  75. Excellent post. Some very good points. Agree also about Moreno - assured performance, and a stunning goal. Reminded me of John Arne Rise.

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

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  76. I'm sorry but Allen had the right to go down. The foul had already happened before he fell to the ground. There may have been gamesmanship, but I don't know why people are blowing up so much about it. Soft? Yes. Fair? Yes.

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  77. You may have had some caution about his move, and maybe I did too, but based on that goal alone, I think he can end up as one hell of a player.

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  78. Yeah its a dive Jaimie, but its a legitimate one

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  79. a penalty 100% how on earth can anyone judge who had Allen was pulled ? . excuses from outplayed opponents. In your view ? from a tv set based on a long camera shot of a unknown amount of pressure by a hand that had no right to be there.

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  80. It can't be cheating if there's already foul. What happens after the foul should be irrelevant.

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  81. Penalties are hard for referees to give at corners because often time, both players involved in the shirt tugging are guilty.


    Dier may not have pulled his shirt, but he's still obviously trying to gain some kind of grip on Allen's body with his hand so he can pull him back. How can it not be a clear penalty when Dier has just randomly tried to handle Allen while he's not even near the ball?

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  82. How is there strong evidence to support he was mocking pain? Seriously Jaimie! This is in no way a true realistic perspective. If someone is trying to softly pull you while you're in the box, are you more likely to shout out because it hurts, or shout out because you're appealing to the referee for a foul? I'm sorry, but your claim of there being 'strong evidence' is absolute nonsense. A reasonable person would conclude that Allen is shouting because he's appealing, not because he's feigning some pain.

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  83. In my opinion, based on the way the game is called, it's a foul.


    Anywhere else on the field, that is a free kick.


    So while I agree that it's g"amesmanship", and I agree that it shouldn't be a foul... the truth is that if it's a foul in one part of the pitch, it should be a foul anywhere.


    With that being said, this particular play should not be constituted as a foul anywhere on the pitch, in my opinion.

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  84. How is it not a legitimate foul? If you try pull someone, which is obviously illegal, how is that not constituted as a foul?

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  85. ...Allen dived AFTER the foul Jaimie! Please, explain to us how pulling someone is not a penalty!?

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  86. In my opinion, players go down to easily in general.


    I don't necessarily even have an issue with the players nowadays. I have a bigger issue with the rules and how they are enforced.


    The players are adapting to the enforcement of the rules.

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  87. Spirit of the Shadows3:17 am, September 01, 2014

    I wouldn't call it a dive, he was being held back across his chest by dier, it was softbut not a dive , the defender knows he can't do that in the box. That being said this is another case of inconsistent refereeing in the premier league. The referees are just poor nowadays and maybe they should have linesman along goal just like in the champions league just to get a better view for penalty shouts ,ie 5 officials instead of 3

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  88. Well it was a dive, but not near as condemnable as a typical dive which tries to gain unfair advantage i.e. cheating. I don't see how this dive was cheating. If he's already been clearly fouled, then he has a right to appeal whichever way he wants, because what happens after the foul should be deemed irrelevant.

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  89. Spirit of the Shadows3:46 am, September 01, 2014

    In my view everyone cheats nowadays, it's just that some players cheat more. The only way to stop the diving and the shirt pulling etc is by better refereeing. Nopoinpoint scapegoating players they are competitive and want to win. The fa should bring in more officials per game and make sure that the players don't get away with their little offense. Then they'll stop conning everyone. That's why you see less simulation and shirt pulling in CL games compared to the premier league.

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  90. JK, if taking a fall, however slight the contact might be, is considered cheating, how would you term an illegal impediment of an opponent, however insignificant the act involved?

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  91. A direct free kick is awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following seven offences in a manner considered by the referee to be careless, reckless or using excessive force:

    • kicks or attempts to kick an opponent

    • trips or attempts to trip an opponent

    • jumps at an opponent

    • charges an opponent

    • strikes or attempts to strike an opponent

    • pushes an opponent

    • tackles an opponent

    A direct free kick is also awarded to the opposing team if a player commits any of the following three offences:

    • holds an opponent

    • spits at an opponent

    • handles the ball deliberately (except for the goalkeeper within his own penalty area)

    A penalty kick is awarded if any of the above ten offences is committed by a player inside his own penalty area, irrespective of the position of the ball, provided it is in play.

    This was taken directly from FIFA's rulebook. It does not state anywhere how hard an opposing player has to be held to be counted as an offence.Jaimie Kunwar please explain how Eric Dier did not hold an opponent within his own penalty area and warrant a foul.

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  92. Jaimie hates LFC. Simple as that. Stupid.

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  93. I actually don't take it as cheating. I myself am a firm believer of honest play, but that incident, I really don't think it's cheating or gamesmanship. It was a big mistake by the Spurs defender - why should he extend his hand to a running forward in danger zone? He was wrong footed & on wrong side - absolutely had no chance to tackle Allen properly. What he tried to do was disrupt Allen's forward movement - anyone can understand, from that angle, Allen can hardly score, what Dier tried is to disrupt his rhythm so that he can't make a decent cross. Biggest mistake Dier did was to catch a forward by extending hand after being wrong footed, running away from him to the direction of goal - had both of them running in parallel, or waiting shoulder to shoulder to receive a ball, I am sure Dier would have got away with it. I understand Allen went a bit easily, but he was given the opportunity.


    May be it looks soft in England, but I have seen Penalties (& second booking) given for softer tackles in Spain, Italy, even Germany or France. This makes England a poor international side - their defenders hardly plays outside home & in EPL, they often get away with clumsy tackles, shirt pulling or excessive force on one to one shoulder charges. Penalty for me - even had it been awarded against LFC.

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  94. Was a soft penalty but unfortunately this sort of thing is in our game now and makes a refs job so much harder. You can't blame the refs as I believe they have such a hard job. Don't forget we get to see these incidents more than once from different angles and in slow motion etc . A ref only gets to see it once at full speed and from pitch level so I don't believe refs should be punished. Maybe the players get told to go down in training when they feel slight contact ? If players played fair then a refs job would be much easier .

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  95. That's an interesting interpretation: going to ground is a way of appealing for a penalty. I don't personally think it's valid and I also don't agree that it's of no consequence because it does influence the refs decision. If Allen stays on his feet but simply stops and throws his hands up in the air he's not necessarily going to get the same result, so going to ground is not just an appeal, it's a deliberate attempt to make the contact seem more than it was and that's where I agree with JK on this one.


    On the other hand I agree with the notion that because it's clearly a foul what Allen does is somewhat irrelevant. No matter what Allen does, the infringement has happened and it should be called. Spurs can get upset that Allen went to ground but they can't ultimately be upset that the penalty was called. There is no injustice here, only the suggestion that what Allen did was deceptive. Complaining that he went to ground is a distraction from what I think is undeniable: a foul was committed in the penalty box and that deserved a penalty.


    I wonder what would happen if players discovered that refs would call penalties if they didn't go to ground but instead stopped and appealed for one by stopping their run, throwing their hands in the air etc. Would the penalty still be called? There seems to be a clear double standard on fouls inside and outside the box and refs have dug themselves into a hole by not calling those "softer" fouls. What makes a foul outside the box and what makes one inside the box seems to be different. It's like an unwritten rule but that's a big part of the problem. Rule interpretation like that shouldn't be unwritten. A foul is a foul is a foul, end of story. But because fouls inside the box generally only get called if you go to ground players feel like they have to dive to convince the ref. The players shouldn't have to do that, they shouldn't have to try and con a ref into awarding a foul that is deserved.


    For what it's worth, I think the ref in this instance knew very well that Allen dived. He's not stupid, he can see the situation with his own eyes and there is no way Allen has been forced to ground by a simple tug on his shoulder. I think Phil Dowd knows exactly what has happened and he knows that Allen has dived. He just doesn't care. Like most of us are commenting here - it was a foul and it deserved a penalty. Allen wasn't honest in what he did but he didn't get booked for it either. Dowd has further reinforced the notion that diving is OK, again brining me back to the suggestion that the refs are partly responsible for the fact that players dive. They create the situation, they allow it to occur and they don't police it effectively. The refs are the ones responsible for enforcing the rules and I think if there is to be some change then it also needs to come from them. Otherwise this will continue to be a regular occurrence.

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  96. There is no doubt Dier tried to cheat i suppose sometimes one bad turn deserves another i am not sure whether its the way the games refereed but without the dive he would have got nothing.
    So really the referees are enabling such crap to happen.

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  97. I'm a spurs fan. I agree the initial foul was worthy of a penalty so am not too upset about coping it. But what Allen did is pathetic. In future I would like to see the refs overturn the penalty decision and award a yellow card for simulation.
    Also Allen effectively performed a rugby tackle on Lamela earlier in the match when he was beaten which is another pet her of mine.
    All in all Liverpool were the better team so congrats. Very impressed with Moreno.

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  98. Watching this in slow motion makes no sense... Watching it in real time, it seemed like an obvious penalty... This was a blatant foul. Yes, the contact should not have caused him to fall over... But it was a foul, and a foul in the box means a penalty. End of discussion.

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  99. Please don't encourage him. If Liverpool win the league this season he will find some way to try and discredit it. I'd hate to see what he's like with his family. "Little Johnny just took his first steps and fell over without contact. Disgraceful and shaming the family"

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  100. Joe felt the contact, felt he was being impeded and drew attention to the foul. He didnt have to go down, but foul play (ie: use of hands on the chest) should not go unpunished and the fouled player should draw the refs attention. There was definitely contact and any player in any league in any country would be told to go to ground if they feel they cant continue past the impeding player.

    Either way, you can’t know from these video angles just how
    much Joe was impeded and you can’t know that he didn’t lose his balance due to the offending arm. It is all speculation and it comes down to human perception.



    I, for one, love the fact that our game is somewhat ‘tainted’ by human error. You bring in video replays and retrospective bans for non-violent offences (I’m all for retrospective punishment of on field violence), you’ll lose the human aspect of the game. It’s what gives the game an unpredictability that other sports just don’t have. The game isn’t just about the skills of the on field players, but the skills of the referee, the linesmen/women, the manager, the coaches, even the groundskeeper! All of these things affect the game and in my opinion, shouldn’t
    be changed.



    We’ll get some easy calls like this, we’ll get some awful calls like the beach ball at sunderland, but that is what makes the game amazing. Joe got a soft call, but I can understand why the ref made it. He went to ground, the ref called it, we scored, we won. That’s the story and no amount of finger pointing is going to change that. Joe is a very talented young player and should be a decent player in the rotation of that midfield this season.



    The real story from the game was our captain’s performance, which aside from 2 or 3 amazing signature passes was very average. He looked far off the pace, struggled with the simple stuff and just seemed out of sorts, but was in some ways
    made to look better because of the hard work Joe and Jordan put in next to him. I’m looking for better from our cap, but always behind him. Next game, 3 more points. YNWA

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  101. This is what I meant by diving as means of appeal. Players feel these days that the only way they will win softer, but fair penalties is if they go to ground, and it's a reflection of the referees' muddied interpretations. So I don't see the point in trying to condemn Allen, because it's hardly his fault that he's been forced to resort to that.


    I think if he put the emphasis on physical struggle, e.g. trying to reinforce to the ref that he's trying to shake Dier's hand off, that could have worked as well. I think the penalty was absolutely clear before the dive, and the dive didn't influence Dowd. You actually can't get any clearer. Allen had completely school Dier, Dier was nowhere near the ball, and then he suddenly lunged at Allen, followed by a quick pulling motion with his arm. You just can't get any more clear than that. On Fox Sports, Robbie Slater was talking about it after the game, and he said, 'why are we even talking about this? It's as clear as any penalty you'll get'. So he basically implied that this whole discussion is grossly trivial, and I highly agree with him. I wish Jaimie would rather write an article dissecting the game than about stupid little penalty that was fair in the end. He can say all he wants, 'well don't read this site', but then he'd have a basically non existent readership, because everyone tends to greatly disagree with him on this one.

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  102. Players do go down easily but it doesn't compromise the fact that a foul existed in the first place

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  103. Very boring article.
    What kind of play or judgement warrants a defender to "slide" his arm across the chest of an opponent who is surging forward with the ball in the 18 yard box??

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  104. his assumption is as good as yours.

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  105. allen was not cheating. It's confusing as a player to know when to fall and when not. As someone who played football - I used to never go down, but i got almost only 10% of the fouls that where conducted on me. You have no choice this day - it's not a gentelman game any more. It's very confusing, you feel contact, and you have a thenth of a second to decide if it's a foul or not and how you react to it. I have no anger for a player who feels he is being fouled and falls, cause he knows very well that if he doesn't fall 90% of the time he won't get the deserved foul.

    That being said - this one was a very very soft one. Very. Still i don't think that Joe Allen ment to cheat. He is a deep midfielder who doesn't get alot in the box and is confused in it, plus has the pressure to supply more attacking threats.

    Sorry, but for me Joe Allen is not the man that should be targeted as a cheater out of all the real cheaters in the premiere league.

    It's not like last season when Ramirez vs West Brom cleary Dives in 93th minute. It's a scenario with a doubt, part of football, and not such a big deal. Ashly Young for example, that should be a case on the table.

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  106. The majority if people at the FA think that Roy Hosgson is the man to drive the England national team into into the modern football world...

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  107. When will you understand Jaimie, plays dont always go to ground because they are forced to the ground, they go down to signify the foul to the ref, the shout as he goes down is to the ref that there is a foul not one of pain.


    Dier attempted to pull him back, so Allen decided he didnt want the advantage and wanted the foul to given so goes down to stop the play. Simple.

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  108. If you agree it was an initial foul, then what is the issue with Allen going down? It would never have been given if he doesn't go down, this is the problem with refs, it as as much their fault as the players as they very rarely give the pen if you stay on your feet. As in the Adebayor incident late in the game, i full believe if when Lovren pulls him back he allows the pull to send him backwards towards the floor the pen would have been given. Until refs start giving them when players dont go down you can understand why players will do it.

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  109. You are just the latest in a long-line of cheat apologists. You basically advocate players diving to the floor even when there's not enough force to make them go down. That is cheating, irrespective of the foul. It's a deliberate, cynical act. No wonder football is in the gutter when fans condone cheating so much.

    Maybe Allen was (slightly) fouled, but the foul did not impede his capability of continuing with the ball to get the cross in; he could've gone on, but instead, he chose to cheat and throw himself to the floor.

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  110. It's not 'confusing' for a player to 'know when to fall'. Sorry, but this poisonous thinking is precisely the problem. Players should've be asking themselves the question 'should I fall here' - they should continue unless the foul forces them down.

    In this case, unless he weighs about 5 pounds, Allen clearly could've continued his run, but he cynically chose to dive. That is (IMO) cheating. Just because someone brushes him across the chest doesn't give him the right to play-act.

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  111. Pulling back shouldnt be a foul? Umm ok then, thats gonna work well.

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  112. If you can't see the 'issue' with Allen going down, then that's proof-positive that you've crossed the line into full cheat-apologist mode.

    Just because someone is slightly fouled does not give them the right to dive! This is the issue: you and others are condoning cheating by saying it's okay to cynically dive upon feeling the slightest contact in the box, even if that contact is not enough to force the player to go down.

    You and others are responsible for (indirectly) destroying the game you proclaim to love. As a result of this constant enablement (and weak refereeing), players now regularly wait for the slightest, innocuous contact in the box and then cynically hurl themselves to the ground in a bid to con the referee. It's a sickening practice, and should be stamped out.

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  113. Totally agree that Jaimie has just said it is a cry out in pain to suit his stance in the article. There is no 'Strong evidence' to suggest that it was mock pain at all. I love how when somebody claims that it is one thing then they are being biased to suit their argument yet this is exactly the same thing that has been done in the original article.

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  114. Terry McDermotts perm8:53 am, September 01, 2014

    Its the way the game is these days. Yes he went down easily but he didnt imagine the contact. Its not Allens finest moment but the defender gave the ref an excuse and in modern football the buck stops with the defender.

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  115. You're all wrong he did not cry out in mock pain or appeal for a penalty,


    As I have previously explained I am a trained lip reader and as he went down he clearly said "this one's for you JK"

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  116. Allen is worth £20 million wow ..wow ..

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  117. That's not a penalty for sure, but that's what every professional player will do, to take all the chances to get a penalty. This is the ugly part of modern football. Yes, we agree that these are the kind of tactics that ruins the game, but in modern football it has been part of the game. Simulation, diving and screaming has been the tactics to gain chances in the game. I hope Allen don't repeat that again, apart from that he was playing well though. The Allen's scream was more to a claim from the referee rather than for pain purposes. Overall we played well, if we don't count the penalty we still lead with 2 goals.

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  118. You called it a "minor foul" and then go on to say it wasn't a deserved penalty. Minor fouls are still penalties.

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  119. and without grabbing and pulling you cannot foul? how about pushing forward when you are on sideway momentum? it has the same effect, hand effectively makes you lose both speed and balance. you do not need to grab shirt or make a pulling move, pushing is just as bad.

    i think its just what dier does there, is late and just pushes his hand on allens way in hope of impeding on his run. a stupid stupid act inside of box. allen went down easy, yes ofcourse he did. but there is no question of if he was fouled there. if our defenders did that kind of mistake/foul inside of our box. id be screaming for benching em.

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  120. The contact was minimal, and not enough to make him fall over. But then you look at the incident later in the game with Adebayor, who was handled more than Allen, but stayed on his feet and got nothing. I'm not certain that the Adebayor one was a penalty either, but he probably had more of a case. But as he didn't go down, he got nothing. And this is the problem with football, if you try and stay on your feet, more often than not you get nothing, and that is why people favour going down under minimal contact, as you are more likely to be awarded the foul.
    It was soft, but Dier was silly to do what he did.
    The reality is, is that a foul is a foul whether you stay on your feet or not, but the referees don't seem to see it like this.

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  121. can any body explain what is dier trying to do here? because that bring the reaction from allen.......

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  122. To kill it diving is simply stupid, there was contact and he simply exaggerated to win then penalty.It was a foul simple as that,allen exaggerated that and maybe you can have a go at him for that but to say he is cheating is stupid.Players do this's all the time, half the players that fall to the ground from fouls could have stayed on their feet but to gain a foul you usually have to go to the ground ,llike Allen did today.

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