Wayne Rooney said sorry for 'dive', claims Preston goalkeeper

Preston goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann says Manchester United's Wayne Rooney apologised for the way he won a penalty in Monday's 3-1 FA Cup win at Deepdale.

The striker went down in the box after a challenge from Stuckmann, who appeared to make little or no contact.

"Rooney told me: 'Sorry, it was my chance to get a penalty. I had to use that'," Stuckmann told The Sun.external-link

The England striker scored United's third from the spot to secure an FA Cup quarter-final tie at home to Arsenal.

Tom Daley rates famous football dives

The incident split opinion among the BBC pundits during Monday night's fifth-round tie at Deepdale.

Rooney was backed by his England manager Roy Hodgson and former team-mate Phil Neville, who said the 29-year-old "had to dive to get out of the way".

But former Republic of Ireland midfielder Kevin Kilbane said Rooney could have "hurdled the challenge" of the German keeper, adding: "It's still a dive. I really do think that."

Stuckmann, 33, said: "I say it clear: that was no penalty.

"I also believe if the situation had happened the other way around, one of our strikers against the United keeper, the ref wouldn't have given the penalty. I have no doubt about that."

Wayne ROoney
Rooney wins an 88th-minute penalty for Manchester United against Preston's Thorsten Stuckmann

Preston boss Simon Grayson defended the referee's decision to award the penalty, saying Rooney, 29, did not dive.

"I am not saying it wasn't a penalty. I'm saying there was no contact," said Grayson. "It wasn't a dive. He's gone to get out of the way and taken evasive action."

More on this story:
Preston 1-3 Manchester United - match report
Grayson says Man Utd striker did not dive
Radamel Falcao: Is his time at Manchester United running out?
Man Utd: Louis van Gaal hails 'unbelievable' spirit in FA Cup win

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