Did Santi dive, or did he not? That's the question from Saturday's batch of English Premier League matches.
Arsenal eased pressure on manager Arsene Wenger by beating West Bromwich Albion 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday. The first goal oozed controversy.
Late in the first half, Spanish playmaker Santi Cazorla won a penalty that Mikel Arteta converted for a 1-0 Arsenal lead at halftime. Arteta added another penalty in the second half to give the Gunners their two-goal margin, but the match's talking point was the manner in which Cazorla won the first spot kick.
Replays showed that contact was minimal. If there was any at all, Cazorla seemed to make the most of it with his dramatic fall to the North London pitch.
So, was it a dive? Wenger stopped just short of saying so, but apologized if Cazorla had done anything wrong.
From the Daily Telegraph:
I am sorry if it was not a penalty. But I have spoke to Santi, and he said he has been touched and lost his balance. Maybe he made a bit more of it. I don’t know. It’s a difficult decision. It can go for you, it can go against you. It went for us today.
Coming from the cool, calculating mind of Wenger, that statement comes close to a full condemnation. Wenger clearly knows how the situation looks.
See for yourself. The play appears in the video clip above. It's our Set Piece Video of the Day for this Manchester Derby Sunday.
First, enjoy. Then, let's get the debate started. Was it a dive? If so, should Cazorla receive retroactive punishment?
Let us know in the comments below.