Ashley Young went to ground to earn Manchester United a penalty in last nights 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad. Ray Wilkins and Roy Keane were not impressed with how Young hit the deck after what appear to be the slightest of touches from Sociedad’s Markel Bergara.
Young was running past the Sociedad defender when Bergara appeared to have dragged him back. The Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli was positioned behind Bergara and would not have had a clear view of the incident but after seeing young go to ground he decided to award the penalty and showed Bergara a yellow card.
The contact was minimal as the defender reached out his hand and touched young but it is certainly debatable whether there was actually a pulling back on Young. Ray Wilkins stated ‘this is pathetic, this is as bad for me as all these over-the-top tackles were getting at the moment because that is conning of the referee. I just wish Ashley Young would cut this out because he is a good player but he’s getting a bad name.’
ITV pundit Roy Keane also expressed his disappointment towards Young saying he had conned the referee. Robin Van Persie missed the resulting penalty and Sociedad will feel that justice was done.
Ashley Young has come under criticism in the past from Alex Ferguson and David Moyes has also had a word with Young for his antics this season. Whatever is being said to Young it seems to be falling on deaf ears as he shows no willingness to stay on his feet. Young now runs the risk of referees being sceptical when he goes to ground and not awarding even genuine penalties.
Manchester United missed a hat-full of chances to get the three points and the group is now wide open. There is now a three way tussle to make it to the knockout stages with Bayer Leverkusen and Shakhtar Donetsk.