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Martin Dubravka puts an end to Diogo Jota ‘diving’ claims

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By Siddharth Juyal

Newcastle United’s Martin Dubravka accepted the penalty call despite a diving accusation towards Liverpool forward Diogo Jota from several pundits

Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka accepted the penalty decision despite pundits accusing Liverpool star Diogo Jota of “diving”. The Reds defeated Newcastle United 4-2 in the dominant Premier League performance to stay at the top of the table.

Dubravka frustrated the hosts with numerous incredible saves on a rainy afternoon at Anfield, frustrating the Kopites. The game also involved a series of poor refereeing decisions against the Reds, creating a negative atmosphere at times.

Referee Anthony Taylor received a chorus of boos for continuously giving one-sided decisions against the hosts. Newcastle’s midfielder Joelington survived booking the first half despite making a series of malicious tackles. At the same time, Taylor branded Liverpool players with yellow cards for questioning his continuously frustrating decisions.

Robbie Mustoe insists that Liverpool should restore Diogo Jota to their strongest starting XI.
Newcastle United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka accepted the penalty decision after unintentionally bringing down Liverpool forward Diogo Jota. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

The penalty decision came during the 83rd minute of the game when Alexis Mac Allister’s fantastic through ball unleashed Jota. Jota rounded past Debrovka but fell after an unintentional clip on his left leg by the Newcastle goalkeeper.

Dubravka admitted to Sky Sports (h/t BBC) that the referee made the correct penalty call despite the lack of intent. He said:

“My arms are not trying to catch him [Jota]. I don’t have to agree but at the end of the day it was a penalty.”

Jota received heavy scrutiny for going down instead of staying on his feet and scoring the goal. Former Newcastle forward and pundit Alan Shearer took to X to condemn the dive while responding to unhappy Ian Wright.

Other former British players and pundits like Wright, Gary Neville, and John Terry made the similar kind of criticism of Jota, something they actively ignore to do when it is a British player.

Furthermore, the pundits have completely ignored the fact that Jota is well-known for his incredible finishing. It makes no sense that he would prefer to go down rather than put another goal to his name.

The Portuguese forward scored an incredible 90-minute goal against Burnley in the previous game from a tougher angle. The undeserved criticism reeks of an ulterior motive to turn the narrative and attack Liverpool for receiving one mere decision.

The Reds have controversial dropped points this season in the games against Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea. Each of these games had a high-profile decision that went against Liverpool which has also baffled the neutrals.

Football pundit Gary Neville gave a baffling reason to downplay the title credential of Liverpool compared to Arsenal.
Liverpool fans criticized Gary Neville for his biased commentary during the Premier League game against Newcastle United. (Photo by Eddie Keogh/Getty Images)

Shearer and similar pundits often defend British talents, alleging “clever thinking” or “their right to earn the foul”. The English pundits have defended players like Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney, Gareth Bale, Bakuyo Saka and Raheem Sterling for diving. Whereas, they have always taken the high route to condemn foreign players, resorting to vulgarities in the process.

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Dubravka’s admission immediately stopped most of the social media onslaught towards Jota. In the current scenario, British media and pundits have been scrutinizing foreign players like Jota for an extended period. Football’s fight against racism or any kind of bigotry would fall short as long as these pundits abuse their platform brazenly.