Manchester United star Wayne Rooney has been branded a cheat by former Liverpool striker Stan Collymore for his alleged dive during the Red Devils’ 3-1 win over Preston North End in the FA Cup, according to reports from talkSPORT.
Preston grabbed a surprise lead against their more illustrious opponents early in the second half, but Scott Laird’s goal was cancelled out by Ander Herrera before Marouane Fellaini grabbed United’s second in the 72nd minute.
However it was the final goal which has been shrouded in controversy, as Rooney appeared to fall over easily after minimal contact from Preston’s goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann.
Rooney stepped up to score the subsequent penalty, which guaranteed United’s progression into the quarter finals of the FA Cup.
And ex-Liverpool ace Stan Collymore, who is now a talkSPORT pundit, blasted Rooney insisting that the 29-year-old cheated in order to gain an advantage for his side.
“He toe pokes the ball past the goalkeeper, who he knows is coming out quickly, and he dives,” he said. “That’s cheating, we’ve had this debate a million times.
“People defend it by saying because there was a trip ‘threat’, that Wayne Rooney has the right to get out of the way and go down.
“But why not jump over him, collect the ball and stick it in the back of the net like what used to happen? You can gloss it all you like, but for me Wayne Rooney has cheated the opposition to get a penalty.
“When you wear that respect campaign armband, you owe it to the fans and the game not to do that.
“I’m bitterly disappointed, he is the England captain and Manchester United captain and he’s better than that.”
Rooney’s strike was his first goal in 2015, ending a 952-minute goal-drought since his double over Newcastle United back on Boxing Day.