Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has claimed Raheem Sterling was “happy to go down” as he was not ruled to have been fouled by Hugo Lloris in a highly controversial moment during Tottenham’s 2-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday.
The England winger went down under a challenge from Lloris as he followed in from Ilkay Gundogan’s missed penalty during the first half of their fiery encounter.
The Frenchman stretched out a hand towards the onrushing ball, but put his glove dangerously close to Sterling as he ran in to retrieve the ball.
Sterling went down and was furious in the aftermath, but VAR ruled that Lloris had got the ball fairly.
That was clearly the view of ex-FIFA listed referee Gallagher, who felt that Sterling was not close to getting the ball and went down to create a “chance” for a spot kick.
Gallagher said: “I think he’s gone in, he’s realised he can’t get the ball and he’s taken a bit of a chance...
“I think at this point he’s second favourite to get the ball and he’s quite happy to go down.
“I don't understand what the confusion is because the rule is quite clear. It might not be what we like, but it is quite clear.”
Ex-Liverpool defender and Sky Sports commentator Jamie Carragher disagreed with that view though, saying that his initial reaction was that a penalty should have been given.
"That looked a penalty again,” he said live on air. “It looked another penalty. He got there first, no doubt about it. I thought he got too excited saving the penalty and he was never going to get there, Lloris.
“You talk about VAR taking the atmosphere away! Hugo Lloris has lifted that crowd, just look at that reaction and also from the manager!
“Raheem Sterling has already been booked, but it's one of them where the attacker is always going to go down if he gets there first.
“So often between these teams VAR has played a massive part. You think about the Champions League games last season and the Premier League game earlier this season.”