By Keith Hackett

7th Nov, 2022 | 12:16pm

Ex-Premier League referee lambasts 'diver' Kevin De Bruyne as controversial Man City footage emerges

Kevin De Bruyne was guilty of a “dolphin dive” but Man City still deserved their penalty in the 2-1 win over Fulham on Saturday (5 November), according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee heaped praise on Darren England for his positioning when Antonee Robinson brought down De Bruyne.

With Man City chasing a winner in injury time Robinson clipped his opponent’s ankle and England pointed to the spot.

Substitute Erling Haaland converted from the spot to secure a crucial three points for Pep Guardiola’s side.

“The referee is in a great position,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“It’s a bit of a dolphin dive and an exaggeration in order to get the free-kick but he’s caught him and he’s gone down.

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“This is a relatively young referee who has bedded into the competition.

“The only advice I would give the referee, if anything, is I can’t understand why he suddenly stops about 15 yards from the penalty area to make those decisions.

“What he needs to do is continue his run. So when he actually makes his decision it looks as if he’s closer to the incident. I’d like him to improve his positioning in regard to his performance.

“Overall I actually think he did what he had to do.

“It’s a light touch and an exaggeration to get the penalty kick. This is the difficult part of officiating, that’s why you have to be in good positions, which he was.

“He had a clear view and it’s a foul.”

In other news, Man City may be set to “spite Liverpool” and sign Jude Bellingham after a source reveal.