Should “going down too easily” be viewed in the same context as a dive?
Two of the three incidents highlighted in the following video clips are hardly black and white, and no doubt the referees thought for a moment before pointing to the spot.
The other, which happened in one of Tuesday’s Champions League matches, is rather more cut and dry.
But we’ll let you have the final say.
Cast your vote for each of the three exhibits below.
Exhibit A: Marco Reus vs. Real Madrid
Marco Reus played the game of his life on Tuesday.
Not only did his first-half brace pull Borussia Dortmund back into their Champions League quarter-final tie against Real Madrid, but he also continued to drive his side forward after the restart and—but for better finishing—would have picked up an assist had teammate Henrikh Mkhitaryan not missed a wide-open net.
Midway through the second half, he went to the ground in search of a penalty that might have provided Dortmund an equalizer.
The thing is, instead of pointing to the spot, the referee booked him for simulation.
Dortmund went on to win, 2-0, but were eliminated from the competition on aggregate.
Exhibit B: Alexis Sanchez vs. Real Betis
Barcelona had considerable difficulty breaking down last-place Real Betis on Saturday, but they were gifted an opening when the referee pointed to the spot in the 15th minute.
Alexis Sanchez, having wriggled his way into the 18-yard box, was judged to have been fouled by Betis defender Jordi Figueras, who would later put Barcelona 2-0 up after scoring an own goal.
The Catalans went on to win, 3-1, to keep pace with Atletico Madrid atop La Liga.
But did Alexis go to ground too easily?
Exhibit C: DeAndre Yedlin vs. Portland Timbers
North America’s most high-intensity derby delivered a dandy on Saturday when Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders played to a 4-4 draw at Providence Park.
But Portland actually led by a pair of goals before Clint Dempsey pulled one back in the 85th minute, and less than two minutes later, Seattle were back on level terms thanks to a penalty conceded on DeAndre Yedlin.
The defender had chased a loose ball into the box when he was shouldered away from it by Ben Zemanski, and Dempsey made no mistake from 12 yards, as Seattle restored level terms with just three minutes to play.
But could Yedlin have stayed on his feet?