After a controversial penalty call in the final minutes of the FA Cup match between Preston North End and Manchester United, North End manager Simon Grayson said Wayne Rooney had not dived to earn the penalty chance that put Man U ahead 3-1, according to the BBC.
The English striker went down in the box after a challenge from Preston keeper Thorston Stuckmann. There appeared to be little to no contact on the play, but Grayson said he did not believe Rooney was acting.
"I am not saying it wasn't a penalty. I'm saying there was no contact," said Grayson. "It wasn't a dive. He's gone to get out of the way and taken evasive action."
Rooney converted the penalty shot to solidify Manchester United's win in the fifth round of the FA Cup, setting the club up for a quarterfinal game against Arsenal.
In addition to Grayson's comments, Rooney was criticized and defended by a number of observers. BBC commentator and former Ireland midfielder Kevin Kilbane said Rooney could have hurdled the keeper but was seeking a penalty.
Phil Neville and Roy Hodgson – Rooney's former Manchester United teammate and current international manager, respectively – said Rooney had no other way to avoid the challenge.
Manchester United's next match is a Premier League game against Swansea City on Saturday. The club will play Arsenal on March 7.
- Josh Sanchez