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McLeish rejects Mancini `dive' slur

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03 Feb 2011 09:00:04

McLeish rejects Mancini `dive' slur

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish hit back at claims from Roberto Mancini that Kevin Phillips dived to win the penalty which further dented Manchester City's title hopes.Substitute Phillips was adjudged by referee Kevin Friend to have been brought down by Patrick Vieira for the spot-kick which Craig Gardner converted to earn Birmingham a 2-2 home draw.Mancini insisted the 37-year-old striker "had dived" and his side are now eight points adrift of leaders Manchester United, who have a game in hand. He added: "If the referee gives that sort of penalty every game, there will be five penalties minimum every match."But McLeish gave short shrift to the claims of his counterpart that the penalty should not have been awarded.He said: "He (Mancini) would say that. If you look at the penalties given against us this season, they were much, much softer than that. I'm sure City have had their fair share that Roberto would claim were penalties and were probably of the dubious kind."For me that is a penalty because Kevin turned Vieira, has flicked the ball past him, and Vieira has clattered into him. How is not that a foul? Kevin never dived. Kevin is not a diver. He is a real true English gent."


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