Written by Robert Sutherland

Did Christian Benteke dive to win Liverpool a last minute penalty at Selhurst on Sunday? Alan Pardew certainly thinks so. And looking at the replay it's easy to understand why.

The Belgian went down very easily under the challenge of Damien Delaney thanks to the slightest of contact from the Irishman's knee on the forward's trailing leg.

It certainly wasn't enough to send him over but down he went and after initially waving play on, referee awarded the spot-kick following a late flag from his assistant.

After the game Pardew said: "He certainly made a big meal of it. If it had been us, we would not have got it.

"Damien pulls out, the follow through of his knee gets it. That's tough.

“That touch doesn’t warrant the dive he makes, and it’s the dive that makes the linesman’s mind up. It’s a worrying issue in the game.

“I’ve heard (Sky Sports pundit and former Liverpool defender) Jamie Carragher saying there was contact and he was within his rights to go down. Jamie Carragher is saying that? He’s an ex pro. Come on.

“Both of them (Benteke and the referee): really frustrated with that. You try to be fair, to say the right thing to your players, and send out the right message to the players.

“Everyone’s seen the penalty. If you’re the referee and see the centre-half pulling out of the challenge, you don’t give the penalty. And I don’t think he did.

“The linesman assumes that little touch is a penalty. He makes the most of it. If you think that touch affects the fall and the way he lands, then you really need to be consulted.

“That touch doesn’t warrant that dive. If that touch warrants a collapse like that, then wow, we really need to say: ‘Come on’.”

Benteke saw it differently, of course. “I think he touched me otherwise I wouldn’t have gone down,” he said. “The referee’s given a penalty and so he thinks it’s the right decision.”

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp funilly enough couldn't see anythong wrong with it either: “If you run and you get this touch, you fall down.”

Palace's search for a league win in 2016 now stretches to 12 games, which let's face it, is relegation form.

Did Benteke dive or was it a legit penalty? Comment below!


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