Wednesday 24 January 2018

Jamie Carragher hits back at Alan Pardew as Benteke 'dive' row escalates

Damien Delaney's challenge on Christian Benteke gave Liverpool a decisive late penalty
Damien Delaney's challenge on Christian Benteke gave Liverpool a decisive late penalty

Harry Clarke

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew has hit out at Jamie Carragher’s suggestion that players should not be criticised for diving in the box in a bid to win penalties.

Pardew was furious with Carragher’s endorsement of Christian Benteke’s tumble in the box that won his side a 94th minute penalty in Liverpool’s win against his Palace side earlier this month and he has now continued that feud.

Sky Sports pundit Carargher was quick to suggest Benteke had every justification to fall under a challenge from Damien Delaney in the final seconds of a game won by Liverpool and he used his programme notes for Saturday’s game against Leicester to suggest Carargher should not be endorsing diving in the penalty area.

“We were all so disappointed by the decisive last minute penalty Liverpool were awarded,” he wrote.

“Enough has been said about the decision and I would like to point out here that my annoyance after the game was not directed at the match officials, who have a tough task in a game where so many professional players take a tumble all too easily.

“What annoyed me more were Jamie Carragher’s strong comments after the game stating that Christian Benteke was right to take a tumble in a box to win the penalty. I couldn’t disagree more with those sentiments and it is a shame that so many former and current players share his opinion that diving is a valid tactic.

“Would Carragher have had the same opinion if Wilf (Zaha) had gone down in the box in 94th minute of a massive game at Anfield? I suspect not, but loyalties can blur opinions at times.

“Of course, we were then given a soft penalty in our FA Cup quarter-final at Reading last Friday and once again, it highlighted the difficulty faced by match officials.

“Not for once second do I subscribe to the theory that any touch is enough to send anyone down in search of a penalty and my Crystal Palace players would never be encouraged to do that. I would hope that other influential voices in the game also start to promote those sentiments.”

Carragher was quick to respond on Twitter, as he offered up this repost:

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