Ashley Young could be in trouble at Manchester United, after he received a first half yellow card for taking a dive in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The England international has earned a reputation for such theatrics, which has forced former Reds manager Sir Alex Ferguson to reprimand him in the past. It appears as though the 28-year-old has failed to learn from the greatest manager of all, after he took a blatant dive in a bid to win his side a penalty kick against the newly-promoted Eagles at Old Trafford.
Young purposefully struck his leg against the grounded leg of Kagisho Dikgacoi, before falling to the floor and appealing for a spot-kick. Referee Jon Moss did indeed blow his whistle, yet it was little surprise when he raised the yellow card in the direction of the former Aston Villa man rather than the South African international. Ferguson, who was sat in the stands in his new role as director, would not have been impressed, and neither was his successor.
“I don’t want my players diving,” said new United boss David Moyes when asked about the yellow card after the match. “I don’t want anybody doing it. The boy (Dikgacoi) definitely throws his leg out but I think Ashley has put his leg into his leg. It is not what I want.”
As it goes, Young did win a penalty towards the end of the first half, when he went down under another challenge from Dikgacoi which resulted in the Palace player being sent off. This looked a harsh decision, not least because the reward of a penalty is not denying a goalscoring option, but replays of the incident showed it took place outside of the area. This didn’t stop Robin van Persie from stepping up and giving the home side a half-time lead, which was added to in the second half when Wayne Rooney converted a free-kick in front of the Stretford End.
Marouane Fellaini looked impressive for United when he came on as a second half substitute to make his debut, having been unveiled on Friday following his £27.5million move from Everton. Another Belgian also made his Premier League bow for United in Adnan Januzaj, the 18-year-old midfielder, and thankfully it was his performance, rather than that of Young’s, that was the main topic of conversation amongst the fans leaving the stadium at full-time.