Wayne Rooney has become the latest Manchester United player to be scrutinised for diving, and on an afternoon when he engineered a sensational comeback for his side and reached an impressive personal milestone.
The 28-year-old striker reached 150 Premier League goals for a single club with his Boxing Day equaliser at Hull as United recovered from 2-0 down to win 3-2
However, Rooney’s display was not without controversy. The England forward was booked by referee Michael Oliver for dissent, and then came in for criticism after television replays showed that he elaborately went to ground in the 85th minute when under minimal pressure from Tom Huddlestone.
It’s the latest high profile incident of simulation at Old Trafford this season. Serial offender Ashley Young’s most recent misdemeanour occurred last month when winning a penalty at Real Sociedad in the Champions League, while young midfielder Adnan Januzaj has already been booked twice for diving since his eye-catching introduction to the first team.
Manchester United manager David Moyes has been quick to defend his players on these occasions, despite having previously called for the introduction of post-match action from the authorities to punish players who clearly try to deceive officials.
Speaking earlier this season, he said: “I have always said that it is something we should have retrospective video action for. That would help the referees no end. It is really difficult for referees.”