Spain and Germany are where we’ll train our discerning gaze in this instalment of Dive or No Dive.
Penalties were awarded in two of the three exhibits highlighted below, and in the other, the player in question was livid that his claims for a spot-kick were passed over by the referee.
Was he right? And did the other two go to ground too easily?
Exhibit A: Mario Mandzukic vs. Schalke
By the time Mario Mandzukic hit the floor in the 76th minute of Bayern Munich’s Saturday match at home to Schalke, his Bayern side were 4-1 up and cruising to a 21st Bundesliga win of the season.
But the drubbing wasn’t over yet.
Pouncing on Kevin Prince-Boateng’s soft back pass, the Croatia international scampered in on goal but went to ground under pressure from Schalke defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos, who was subsequently sent off.
Arjen Robben stepped up to the spot, and in converting, he rounded out both his own hat-trick and Bayern’s 5-1 win.
Exhibit B: Ikechukwu Uche vs. Real Betis
This is the second successive week in which Real Betis feature on this list, and they’ll feel aggrieved at a decision that went against them once again.
Coming off an impressive aggregate victory over Rubin Kazan in the Europa League, the Seville side were locked in a scoreless draw with fifth-place Villarreal until the referee deemed Betis full-back Javier Chica had fouled Ikechukwu Uche inside the area.
Replays seemed to show that Chica had actually stabbed the ball off Uche’s feet, but did the Nigeria international go to ground too easily upon feeling contact?
Exhibit C: Diego Costa vs. Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid were trailing 1-0 in the Madrid Derby when Diego Costa’s pleas for a penalty went unheard.
Karim Benzema’s third-minute opener had given visiting Real Madrid the early lead, but just eight minutes later, Sergio Ramos appeared to barge over Diego Costa as the Brazil-born Spain international scampered into the box.
Carlos Delgado Ferreira wanted nothing to do with the 25-year-old’s protests, however, and Arda Turan ended up with a yellow card as a result of his persistent complaints.
Koke and Gabi would score to give Atletico the 2-1 lead before the end of the first half, but the hosts’ dreams of a memorable win were dashed with eight minutes to play when Cristiano Ronaldo equalised.