Noel Whelan has claimed Pascal Struijk’s challenge on Anthony Martial should not have been given as a penalty against Leeds United on Sunday.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Whites striker and boyhood Elland Road fan claimed there were multiple penalties given this weekend including Martial’s that he felt were “cheating”.
Struijk was adjudged to have fouled the Man United striker in the second-half when he left a leg out after the striker had chipped the ball over him.
The Dutchman was introduced from the bench at Old Trafford on Sunday with Leeds 4-1 down.
His efforts were not enough to stop the rot for Leeds with Man Utd securing a 6-2 victory over their rivals.
“It was very naive,” Whelan told Football Insider.
“But you’re going to get that from young players and to be honest with you I don’t think it was a penalty. He’s left his leg out there and Martial being clever goes over it – there was hardly any contact.
“Over this weekend I’ve seen so many penalties that are not penalties, they’re soft, they’re dives. In my opinion, it’s cheating but by the letter of the law these days it’s a penalty.
“You can’t win with them and the referees have got really difficult decisions to make.
“This is what they do now. They go down with very, very minimum contact. It’s that bad.”
Struijk was making just his fifth Premier League appearance and his first from the bench.
He has not completed 90 minutes since the opening day and was dragged off after 21 minutes against Aston Villa in October.