Raheem Sterling earned a bizarre penalty for Manchester City against Shakhtar Donetsk after he kicked the ground and fell over.
Referee Viktor Kassai was obstructed and believed the England international had been unfairly tripped up by onrushing defender Mykola Matviyenko.
Shakhtar players surrounded the officials, appealing incredulously, but their complaints fell on deaf ears.
Raheem Sterling’s boot caught the turf when the nearest defender was well behind him
The 23-year-old made a complete hash of his attempted shot at goal in the Champions League
Sterling took a tumble after kicking the ground and was incredibly given a penalty for it
Sterling found himself with the goal at his mercy and goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov charging towards him.
The 23-year-old glanced up and then attempted a chip over the goalkeeper’s head. But his shooting leg dug into the turf well behind the ball and the winger toppled forward.
He got to his feet sheepishly and must have been as surprised as the Shakhtar players that the penalty was given.
Gabriel Jesus stuck the penalty away to give City a 2-0 lead after David Silva had tapped the hosts in front from two yards out.
Sterling’s kick into the turf was not spotted by the extra official behind the goal on Wednesday
City were already dominating the game and the decision put Shakhtar up against it
Pep Guardiola’s side were dominating the game at the Etihad before they were given a huge slice of luck, and the manager himself even appeared to tell the fourth official the wrong decision had been made.
Steve McManaman had his say on the incident in the BT Sport studio. He said: ‘It was a comical mistake, an awful mistake, whatever way you want to put it. I didn’t think it was a penalty, it looked as if he kicked the floor because the defender is nowhere near him.
‘I’ve got sympathy for the referee, as Robbie (Savage) says in commentary his position would dictate he can’t have a full view of that. He has presumed that Sterling has been clipped.
Steve McManaman insisted that Sterling was not at fault for the referee’s decision
Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov could not believe the decision to award the penalty
Pep Guardiola also appeared to tell the fourth official that it should not have been a penalty
‘I think the referee knew straight away. The reaction of everybody on the field suggests it wasn’t a penalty. No blame with Raheem Sterling, he kicks the floor and he falls over and it is not his fault it has been given a penalty.
‘I’ve got no problem with that (Sterling not telling the referee it wasn’t a penalty). The referee has made the big mistake, it is not Sterling’s fault.
‘Raheem hasn’t appealed for a penalty either, the referee gives it and has given it quickly. It is quite comical. You don’t want the game to be defined by that moment.’
Shakhtar appeared to see the funny side – on their Twitter account, at least.
Responding to City’s tweet claiming that Sterling had been ‘tripped’ to win the penalty, they said: ‘Tripped? Good joke, friends.’
Shakhtar appeared to see the funny side on their Twitter account, at least