England and Germany are where we find ourselves in this instalment of Dive or No Dive.
Liverpool, who had recently stunned Arsenal with a 5-1 drubbing at Anfield, felt they were unlucky to lose 2-1 to the Gunners in the FA Cup at the Emirates Stadium, and a key decision that went against them was at the crux of their discontent.
In Germany, meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim benefited from penalties in their weekend wins at home to Eintracht Frankfurt and Stuttgart, respectively.
But were the referees correct in their decisions to either point to the spot or allow play to continue?
Exhibit A: Anthony Modeste vs. Stuttgart
Stuttgart, who won the Bundesliga as recently as 2007, are dropping like a rock and find themselves in some real relegation trouble; Saturday’s 4-1 defeat away to Hoffenheim left them just three points clear of the drop.
In truth, the 92nd-minute penalty awarded against them had little impact on the outcome, but it was another kick to the stomach for a club that finds itself in all kinds of trouble with 13 matches to play.
Georg Niedermeier was deemed the guilty party in the incident in question—deep into stoppage time, his challenge on Anthony Modeste sent Roberto Firmino to the spot to put the finishing touches on a decisive victory.
Exhibit B: Robert Lewandowski vs. Eintracht Frankfurt
Don’t look now, but Borussia Dortmund are climbing up the Bundesliga table and are just a single point back of second-place Bayer Leverkusen heading into the weekend.
Their latest win was an emphatic 4-0 trouncing of Eintracht Frankfurt at Signal-Iduna-Park, and after taking a 2-0 lead into the break, Robert Lewandowski added a third for the hosts shortly after the restart.
It was Eintracht defender Constant Djakpa who was judged to have taken down the Poland striker and, after brushing himself off, the Bayern-bound forward made no mistake in beating Kevin Trapp from the spot.
Exhibit C: Luis Suarez vs. Arsenal
This may have been an example of Luis Suarez’ reputation preceding him.
Known for his fondness for going to ground with nary a touch, the Uruguay frontman was chopped down by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain midway through the second half of Liverpool’s FA Cup encounter against Arsenal, Sunday, but referee Howard Webb was unmoved and allowed play to continue.
But was it the right decision? Did Suarez’ exaggerated roll even work against him?
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