Kevin de Bruyne has been 'found out' by referees as new Man City controversy has pundit angry
Noel Whelan has claimed Man City star Kevin de Bruyne has been “found out” by referees after he was denied a penalty during the defeat against Brentford on Saturday (12 November).
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 31-year-old was “looking for” spot-kicks against both the Bees and Fulham last week (5 November).
As seen on BBC’s Match of the Day (12 November), De Bruyne was denied a penalty by referee Peter Bankes after a challenge from Rico Henry.
Replays showed minimal contact between the two, and VAR official David Coote found no clear and obvious error in Bankes’ decision.
De Bruyne won a stoppage-time penalty during the win over Fulham last week after taking advantage of a misjudged Antonee Robinson challenge.
Man City sit five points adrift of league leaders Arsenal heading into the mid-season World Cup break.
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Whelan insisted De Bruyne is not “cheating” – but instead “looking for the contact”.
He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “The penalty last week was soft, but it was a penalty.
“He’s a clever player, and this is what you’ll get from clever players. He’ll time the run; he’ll knock it away and look for the contact.
“But lots of referees will look back at that penalty last week against Brighton and decide that he was playing for it.
“It’s not cheating, but you can be found out by referees when you are looking for decisions like that.
“It can go against you like that – and that’s what happened against Brentford.”