Penalties were awarded in all three exhibits in this instalment of Dive or No Dive.
First we travel to the west of France, where Lyon picked up a vital three points against Nantes along the Loire River on Sunday. And the final pair of video clips is courtesy of Real Madrid’s 2-0 win away to local rivals Atletico Madrid in Tuesday’s Copa del Rey second leg.
All three penalties led directly to wins for the sides that converted them. But were the decisions just?
Exhibit A: Alexandre Lacazette vs. Nantes
Lyon have been climbing up the Ligue 1 table since the Christmas break, and Alexandre Lacazette put Les Gones on course to yet another victory on Sunday when he opened the scoring just prior to the break against Nantes.
But the guests were unable to find an elusive insurance marker until Lacazette went to ground with 15 minutes remaining—the attacker having been tripped by onrushing goalkeeper Remy Riou.
At first glance, anyway.
But did he throw himself to the floor. Take a look at the accompanying clip and have your say.
Exhibit B: Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Atletico Madrid
Only six minutes had ticked off the clock when Cristiano Ronaldo had earned a penalty for Real Madrid at Estadio Vicente Calderon.
Already leading 3-0 on aggregate following a dominant first-leg performance at home to Atletico Madrid in this Cope del Rey semifinal, Real Madrid now had a chance to put the tie to bed, and Ronaldo made no mistake from the spot.
But have another look.
Did he fall too easily under pressure from Javi Manquillo? Or was the decision to award a penalty completely justified.
Exhibit C: Gareth Bale vs. Atletico Madrid
Just eight minutes after Ronaldo’s first penalty against Atletico Madrid, Tuesday, Real Madrid were awarded another spot-kick after Emiliano Insua’s careless challenge on Gareth Bale.
The Welshman, who struggled to make an impact at the Calderon, fell to the surface after having his leg kicked, but might he have stayed on his feet?
Or was Insua’s challenge so nasty that the penalty was never in doubt?