Jamie Carragher comes to the defence of Raheem Sterling over penalty incident
Raheem Sterling didn't set out to con anyone and it's not his responsibility to correct a refereeing mistake.
Intentional dives from players which have won penalties have received less criticism than Sterling's tumble after he accidentally kicked the turf midway through the first half of Manchester City's Champions League clash against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.
Sterling was attempting to chip the ball over the onrushing keeper, mistimed his kick and tripped himself in the Shakhtar box.
Referee Viktor Kassai pointed to the spot and Gabriel Jesus converted but Sterling has since faced plenty of ridicule for failing to alert the officials to the fact that he hadn't been clipped.
"Oh he's kicked the ground. Oh dear..."
"There's an official behind the goal. You've to question the reason for his existence!"
Man City are 2-0 up thanks to Gabriel Jesus' penalty. But replays show Raheem Sterling kicked the ground rather than being fouled. 🤔 #VMSport pic.twitter.com/zQ03adpfk8
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) November 7, 2018
Sterling apologised after the match for not admitting to the error but several high-profile former professionals have come out in defence of the City winger, with Sterling's former teammate at Liverpool, Jamie Carragher, the latest to throw his support behind the 23-year-old.
"Let me tell you from the outset, if I was playing in a match and the referee wrongly gave my team a penalty, there is no way I would want the team-mate involved telling the official he should not give it," Carragher wrote in his Telegraph column.
"Would I – or any defender – tell the referee to give a penalty if I made a foul in the box but it was deemed a fair tackle? No chance.
"Having said that, I wish Raheem had been inspired by that famous Robbie Fowler episode against Arsenal in 1997, when he pleaded with the ref not to penalise David Seaman.
"Not because it was his duty to tell the officials they got it wrong, but because it would help shift public opinion of Raheem."