Wayne Rooney 'Dive' Sparks Disagreement Between Pep Guardiola and David Moyes

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistApril 2, 2014

Manchester United's manager David Moyes, left, and Bayern head coach Pep Guardiola watch the Champions League quarterfinal first leg soccer match between Manchester United and Bayern Munich at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Tuesday, April 1, 2014.(AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super

Wayne Rooney's alleged dive is the main topic of discussion after Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final first leg, an incident that sparked a red card for Bastian Schweinsteiger and disagreement between David Moyes and Pep Guardiola.

Brooks Peck of Yahoo! Eurosport posted Guardiola's reaction to the moment that led to Schweinsteiger's second yellow card on a decent night for the Red Devils, who produced a battling performance to leave Old Trafford with a shot of advancing through to the next round:

The Daily Mail's Chris Wheeler also wrote his reaction article under the headline "Rooney dived!" He attributes quotes to Moyes, who believes his player was fouled, saying, "I think Schweinsteiger trips Wayne up. It's a booking—or at least a foul."

The pivotal event can be seen in The Guardian's tweet:

Guardiola voiced his feelings after the match, but he obviously didn't want to make a scene in fear of facing punishment from UEFA, noted by Wheeler:

I just spoke with the referee and he knows my opinion. He gave me his opinion and I have to respect that. To win the Champions League you have to overcome everything, so at times during the competition that happens.

Graham Poll, former Premier League referee turned Daily Mail columnist, suggested that while Rooney may have fallen dramatically, Schweinsteiger was rightfully dismissed:

Bastian Schweinsteiger can have few complaints about his sending off. His first booking was a clear yellow card when Danny Welbeck was held back, and the second offence also warranted a caution as he felled Wayne Rooney.

Rooney certainly made the most of the tackle but Bayern complaints that he had dived and over-reacted to Schweinsteiger’s tackle were rich given their antics throughout the game.

Poll's assertion seems correct. There's little doubt Schweinsteiger cynically fouled Rooney, who was about to break away on a counter-attack for the home side. The Englishman certainly flicks his feet and head up for effect, but that doesn't deny the initial foul. If he fails to move, he is clattered hard to the ground.

Jon Super

Schweinsteiger's dismissal was all the more difficult for Bayern to take after Antonio Valencia evaded a similar fate moments before. The Ecuadorean winger should have received his marching orders after lunging in on Jerome Boateng, but he luckily escaped without a second yellow.

United will be buoyed by Schweinsteiger's suspension and Javi Martinez's ineligibility for the second leg after he received a yellow. The Premier League side need luck to continue running in their favour if they are to have any chance at the Allianz Arena, where Bayern's attacking intensity is sure to come to the fore.

Right now, Moyes and his team should be proud of a commendable performance. Whether Rooney dived or not, the result gives United an important boost heading into the next leg.