Stoke City boss quizzed on whether Kyle Naughton dived – and others aren’t as kind


Michael O’Neill stayed diplomatic about Kyle Naughton’s fall to win Swansea an injury time penalty that won them three points at Stoke City.

Naughton hit the deck as he tried to run in front of Jack Clarke as time ticked down at the bet365 Stadium. Referee David Webb looked through players to give the spot kick, which Andre Ayew converted to make it 2-1.

O’Neill’s frustration about Webb’s decision was clear – but he was then quizzed in his post-match press conference about whether he also thought Naughton had dived.

“I think he inadvertently tripped himself up,” he said. “Only the player can determine whether he dived or not, whether that was the decision that he made.

“I don’t think he genuinely felt he was going to get across him at that point in time.

“Jack Clarke is clearly not trying to go for the ball. He’s trying not to make contact.

“I’ve watched it three times from three different angles and I don’t think there’s contact. I may be coming from a slightly biased point of view.

“For a referee to give a penalty in that situation at that point in the game, he’s got to be 100 per cent certain and, for me, I’m not sure he was able to see that.”


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Steve Cooper pulled the old Arsene Wenger trick.

He said: “I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen it back on the TV. I thought it was a penalty at the time, particularity with it being Kyle Naughton and him being a defender, he’s usually defending those situations.”

Others had seen the replays.

Former Stoke star Liam Lawrence said on Twitter: “I’ve dived with the best of them at times but that’s a good one. Ref, you’ve been had there pal.”

Ex-Stoke forward Cameron Jerome, on Quest highlights duty, said: “Looking at it, it’s so soft. Naughton instigates the contact by stepping across the defender and he makes the referee’s mind up by stepping across him and going to the floor.

“I can see why the ref’s given it but it’s so soft. Fair play to the Swansea player… I think it’s cuteness from his perspective, from Stoke’s it’s mighty soft.”



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Swansea fans on social media suggested that Clarke had been going down too easily before then himself.

One said: “Deserved after Clarke dived form the minute he came on. Good on Naughton for having him.”

Another said: “Poetic justice that Clarke gave the penalty away after diving all game. It makes it even better that Naughton dived for it too.”

Another added: “If it wasn’t for Naughton’s dive we would have been going home two points lighter. Definitely wasn’t a tactical masterclass.”





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