Pundit accuses Kevin De Bruyne as new Man City controversy analysed - 'I'm shaking my head'
Noel Whelan has accused Kevin De Bruyne of “waiting for the contact” from Fulham defender Antonee Robinson in order to win a cheap penalty for Man City.
The former Leeds striker was speaking exclusively to Football Insider in the aftermath of the Citizens’ 2-1 win over the promoted side at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (5 November).
As seen on footage from the Sky Sports website (5 November), Fulham defender Robinson clipped the ankle of De Bruyne inside the penalty area – with referee Darren England showing no hesitation as he pointed to the spot.
The Belgium international superstar has come under fire for the theatrical nature of his appeal.
Substitute Erling Haaland stepped up to dispatch the stoppage-time spot-kick to spare the blushes of 10-man City after a dominant display at the Etihad Stadium.
The three points helped keep Pep Guardiola’s side above Arsenal – but the London side moved back to the summit of the Premier League after beating Chelsea on Sunday (6 November).
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Whelan admitted Robinson should “know better” than to dangle his leg in front of an “intelligent” player like De Bruyne.
He told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “It’s so soft.
“I’ve watched it back and back and back, and I’m just shaking my head.
“Maybe with the era I used to play in it looks worse than it is.
“It’s such a soft penalty. It’s an intelligent penalty, don’t get me wrong.
“You’re down to 10 and inside the box – Robinson should know better than to dangle the leg, although he had to stay close to De Bruyne.
“But when you’re in the heat of the battle, this is what happens. De Bruyne was waiting for the contact, he got it – and he left the referee with no choice.
“It’s a learning curve for some players, but the football gods were well and truly shining on City with that incident.”