Liverpool Palace: Crystal Palace robbed as ‘cool’ Benteke does a Gerrard
Crystal Palace lose to 10-man Liverpool and there are accusations of diving. Palace manager Alan Pardew – previously seen head-butting an opposition player on the side of the pitch and verbally abusing the likes of Manuel Pellegrini and Arsene Wenger – is unhappy.
Palace looked to be on course for a valuable point against a Liverpool side down to 10 men, after James Milner saw red just after the hour-mark. However, with just seconds remaining, a rash lunge from Damien Delaney in the box left Christian Benteke sprawling and ref Andre Marriner pointing to the spot.
Benteke converted the resulting penalty to secure a precious win for the visitors and condemn Palace to another defeat.
Hard cheese. And sour grapes. The Sun leads with news that Benteke dived to win the spot kick.
“Was it penalty to Liverpool?” the paper asks. Yes, it was. Should it have been given? Time for a heated debate.
The Sun is first to respond. Paul Jiggins says “fraudulent” Benteke “conned” the officials.
We then hear from the player and the Palace manager.
Pardew: “I feel like we’ve been robbed. He certainly makes a big meal of it.”
Benteke: “I think he touched me, otherwise I wouldn’t go down. The referee knows better than us and he took the right decision.”
End of. But no. Former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher adds his opinion.
Carragher: “Liverpool players don’t dive. It was a stupid decision to dive in and [Delaney] just clipped with his right knee Christian Benteke’s left ankle and it’s a penalty. I don’t think it’s a debate.”
But it is. In the local Press, the Croydon Guardian reports Pardew’s response is given in full.
Pardew: “If you’re the referee and you see that incident, you see the centre half pulling out of the challenge, you don’t give the penalty. The linesman assumes that little touch is a penalty – he [Benteke] makes the most of it – and he gives it and it’s tough to take. If you think that touch affects the fall that he has, then you seriously need to be consulted. I’m a football person and that touch doesn’t warrant the dive that he makes, and it’s the dive that makes the linesman’s mind up. I think it’s an issue that’s worrying in the game. I saw Jamie Carragher say if someone’s going to touch you, you’re going to make the most of it. Jamie Carragher saying that. He’s an ex-pro. Come on. You try to be fair, you try to say the right things to your players and send out the right message to the players to be honest and that touch doesn’t warrant that dive.”
The local Palace paper calls the penalty “controversial”. What says the Liverpool Echo?
Echo: “Substitute Christian Benteke was brought down by Damien Delaney’s foolish lunge and the £32.5million striker stepped up to coolly slot home the spot-kick.”
Those of you still rolling your eyes at the part about Liverpool players not diving should enjoy this: