With a hop, skip and a jump, Bruno Fernandes – at the second time of asking – scored from the penalty spot to hand Manchester United a nervy 1-0 win over West Brom on Saturday, but should the midfielder's spot-kick technique be banned?
Ian Wright reckons so, with the ex-Arsenal and England forward claiming it gives the taker an unfair advantage, particularly as West Brom’s Sam Johnstone was penalised for coming off his line to save Fernandes’ first attempt before a re-take was ordered and duly dispatched.
“It is [difficult for goalkeepers],” Wright said on Match of the Day. “And then you've got forwards jumping up, doing this, doing that sort of stuff and the goalie can't move his foot off.
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“They should stop people jumping and that, they should have to make a full... just run at the ball and hit it. If they can move and the goalies can't, that's not fair.'
Host Gary Lineker asked: “Are you going to have a law that says you can't jump?”
Wright replied: “Yeah, you have to go straight through your penalty run-up, no jumping.”
Chelsea’s Jorginho adopts a similar technique, and IFAB Laws of the Game state that feinting – a move to deceive the opposition into making a mistake – is allowed during the run-up, but not once the run-up is complete and the player is about to kick the penalty. An offence occurs when: “Feinting to kick the ball once the kicker has completed the run-up (feinting in the run-up is permitted); the referee cautions the kicker.”
This suggests, as highlighted by Lineker, that the laws of the game would need to change as Fernandes and Jorginho are not infringing the rules as they do not stop during the motion of kicking the penalty.
Meanwhile, West Brom’s Johnstone was unsurprisingly frustrated, quote replying to a tweet which suggested goalkeepers should be able to move anywhere inside their own six-yard area when attempting to save a penalty.
“And a striker shouldn’t be able to hop, skip and jump before kicking it,” Johnstone said.
West Brom boss Slaven Bilic was also aggrieved, with his side 18th in the Premier League table and still winless after nine games, but mainly at the fact his side were awarded a penalty at Old Trafford before referee David Coote reversed his decision when checking the pitch-side monitor and deeming Fernandes did not foul Conor Gallagher after all.
"I'm very disappointed with the decision,” Bilic told BT Sport. “I felt like 'small West Brom'.
“All those crucial decisions went against us. I've watched it a few times and it's a clear penalty. I don't understand why he overturned it.
“Instead of 1-0 for us, it's 1-0 for them. When you play against Manchester United away it's a huge difference."
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