Anything Raheem Sterling can do, Leon Osman did better for Everton

The penalty awarded to Raheem Sterling for Man City after his foot prodded the ground and he fell over against Shakhtar Donetsk, having suffered absolutely no contact from any defender, has revived the debate about whether players should own up. Yes, it does sound a preposterous notion in 2018. Keith Hackett, a former referee talking on TalkSport, said that while a ref could take account of a player’s honest admission and change a decision, it was not something officials actually expected to happen. Oh dear.

But worst penalty decision in history, a question that we’ve seen being asked today? Sterling is in perfectly good company, Think back to Boxing Day 2011 at the Stadium of Light. This is the piece we published then, after Everton’s Leon Osman, untouched by any Sunderland player, missed his kick, stubbed the ground and went down with his hand raised in appeal mode. A world-class referee, Howard Webb, was fooled and Everton equalised from the spot to save a point. Go to the link to read the lively debate that followed …

Postscript: Sterling did offer a public apology to the referee Viktor Kassai and to Shakhtar (the penalty brought the second of City’s six goals). I am sure an Everton supporter will put us right if Osman, too, finally admitted he had ‘misled’ Webb …

Read moreAnything Raheem Sterling can do, Leon Osman did better for Everton