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'Pathetic' Young caught up in fresh dive storm

The Manchester United winger won a controversial penalty in the 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad but David Moyes has refused to condemn the 28-year-old for going to ground

Former Manchester United players Ray Wilkins and Roy Keane have hit out at Ashley Young after the midfielder appeared to dive to win a penalty in his side's 0-0 draw with Real Sociedad.

The 28-year-old winger went down easily under a challenge from Markel Bergara after having been introduced as a second-half substitute, with Robin van Persie smashing the resulting spot-kick against the post.

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It is not the first time Young has been embroiled in a diving controversy, with the former Aston Villa star reprimanded by manager David Moyes after he earned a penalty in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace back in September.

And Wilkins and Keane were unimpressed with Young's latest decision to fall to the floor, insisting that the out-of-favour midfielder is damaging his reputation as a result. Wilkins told Sky Sports: "This [dive] is pathetic.

"This is as bad for me as all these over-the-top tackles we're getting at the moment because that is a conning of the referee. I just wish Ashley would cut this out because he's a good player but he's getting a bad name."

Keane added to ITV: "He's obviously played for it. If you are a Man United player and you see a player getting tugged back, you want him to go down. Ashley Young's obviously gone down too much over the last few months.

"He's been heavily criticised in England but we are in a foreign country and it's more accepted. But he's almost conned the referee there. If he scores the penalty, as a United player you would be delighted, but he's conned the referee there."

Moyes refused to single out his player for criticism but did concede that it was a "strange" decision by Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli to award a penalty.

"I thought there were some strange decisions all night and that was another one of them," the United boss said.

"I have seen it again. The boy tugs him in the box. The referee is two yards away from it and decides to give it. He's got a penalty kick for a decision tonight. I don't know about his reputation but the referee is there and he gave it.

"The referee made decisions all night. He's the one who saw fit to award a penalty and send a player off. I thought the referee made the decision and that was the referee's choice."

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