Sadio Mane has been caught in a diving storm over the last few hours, with pundits queuing up to point the finger at him for going down easily to win the Reds a stoppage-time penalty kick against Leicester City yesterday.
It was checked by VAR and as there was contact on the winger, the spot-kick was allowed to stand. James Milner then coolly converted, maintaining the Reds’ 100% Premier League record this season.
Match of the Day pundit Alan Shearer, however, was less than impressed, calling Mane a diver. Look back over at other similar incidents that Shearer has commented on, though, and his hypocritical stance is exposed.
Take the Dominic Calvert-Lewin penalty against the Reds in the Merseyside derby back in December 2017, for instance, when the Blues forward went down under minimal contact from Dejan Lovren. Shearer claimed that was a clear penalty.
At the time, he explained: “You can’t give someone a reason to go down.”
With the Sadio Mane penalty yesterday, he was a little less forgiving.
Speaking last night on Match of the Day, via the Daily Mail, Shearer said: “I don’t think it’s a penalty, I think it’s a dive. It’s a contact sport. Mane takes a touch against Albrighton and then decides to go down.”
The difference in the incidents is minimal, but in one case, Shearer said one thing, and in another very similar case, he said the opposite.
Pundits are always going to be biased to some extent – that’s only human – but slating the foreign player and letting the English one off the hook is not a good look.
No pundit should be criticising referees for being inconsistent when they are even worse for it!