Arsenal fans have spotted an apparent dive from new Chelsea signing Mateo Kovacic in the build up to their winning goal, and are understandably not happy about it.
Seconds before Chelsea’s winning goal, Kovacic picked up the ball in midfield, and tried to take on Aaron Ramsey. When he realised his heavy touch was going straight to an Arsenal player, he threw himself to the floor under no contact from the Welshman.
Despite referee Martin Atkinson’s great position to see the incident, he gave a free-kick Chelsea’s way. Rather than Arsenal picking up possession in the opposition half, they then found themselves under defensive pressure, and an Alexandre Lacazette mistake resulted in Marcos Alonso’s winning goal.
Why is no one talking about this PATHETIC dive by Kovacic 30 seconds before the Chelsea goal? Right in front of Atkinson. Literally goes down before Ramsey touches him. Criminal. pic.twitter.com/efhGCTlxpT
— Sabrish. (@sabbytical) August 19, 2018
Though Arsenal players were ultimately the masters of their own downfall, they wouldn’t have had the chance to screw up without Atkinson’s help. Their supporters weren’t happy as a result.
There’s a reason no english ref was at world cup 😂😂
— Rakshit (@rakshit4334) August 19, 2018
Things like that and Hazard’s don’t get media attention unless committed by an arsenal player then they are slated as criminals. Wish Lichtsteiner or Rob Holding was on to give them a proper tackle so they will know best how to make it next time.
— COYG! (@gooner_tt) August 19, 2018
It’s what u see in these big games, way too much it seems Arsenal are on the harsh side of it
These referees need to go back a league when they make bad decisions like these continuously
— UseeWhatOzilJustDid (@rpembs14) August 19, 2018
Exactly😒criminal also from the ref. I don’t trust english referees anymore. They are not up to the standard required. Not even close! Bring in the best refs to the best league.
— Jan-Henrik Janér (@JackeJaner) August 19, 2018
Madrid in his veins
— fop (@itsdurrytime) August 19, 2018
As long as the likes of Eden Hazard and Kovacic keep getting free-kicks and avoiding yellow cards for incidents like this, I have no doubt they’re not going to change their ways. If it works, and gets you out of potentially tricky situations like the one above, why wouldn’t you do it?
You can’t ask players to stop doing something that wins them matches. You need the referees to make it such that diving is no longer in a player’s interest anymore. Until that happens, we’ll see the same again on a weekly basis.