Angel Rangel has admitted he dived in an attempt to win a penalty for Swansea City in their 2-1 defeat at Manchester United on Saturday.
In the 63rd minute of the Swans’ defeat, Andre Ayew’s shot cannoned back off the bar and fell to Rangel, who took a touch before falling to the floor as Matteo Darmian approached him.
The Swansea fans demanded a penalty, but Jon Moss booked Rangel for diving instead and after the match the Spaniard admitted the referee had made the right decision.
Rangel’s admission is refreshing but slightly odd given that on Boxing Day he had to be separated from Callum McManaman after he angrily accused the West Brom midfielder of diving.
“I had a bit of a fight with McManaman last week because he dived, but I did dive today and if it is a dive, it is a yellow card,” the Swansea defender said.
“He (Darmian) did touch me, but I thought it was not a penalty.”
Rangel knew he had made a mistake straight away as he did not remonstrate with Moss. In fact, he praised the referee for his decision at the time.
Rangel added: “I said (to the referee): ‘Well done.’
“It wasn’t enough contact for me to go down but I was losing my balance, and I thought: ‘it is not like really cheating but I was falling already so I just tried to claim it’. It was a gamble.”
Swansea thought they had claimed a point when Gylfi Sigurdsson equalised Anthony Martial’s opener, but Wayne Rooney snatched victory for United with a deft backheel in the 77th minute.
Swansea could have claimed a draw at the death, but keeper Lukasz Fabianski headed wide while up for a corner at the death.
“I just saw the space at the near post and then once the ball came in, I thought: ‘yeah, this looks good, let’s give it a go’ and it was close but not close enough,” the Swansea goalkeeper said.
“I came on as an outfield player once in Poland when I was 17 or 18 and I scored then, but that was the only time I’ve scored before.”