DANNY MURPHY sparked a huge debate after blasting the “horrendous” role of Bruno Fernandes in an “awful” penalty decision.
And ex-Liverpool midfielder Murphy pointed the finger at the Red Devils’ midfielder for an “exaggerated fall” after his trailing leg was caught by Latics’ counterpart Liam Shaw.
Many angry fans backed the ex-England star’s verdict but others reckoned it was a clear penalty, even if a soft one.
With no VAR in FA Cup ties, Murphy claimed Fernandes’ actions underlined a growing problem – that of players tumbling after almost no contact.
The talkSPORT pundit said: “It’s horrendous. It is not just Fernandes, we have seen a few of them recently.
“There is a tiny little touch and unfortunately, what we are doing by giving those penalties, is we are encouraging players to dive with any contact.
“Because there was not enough contact to send him over and then he puts his foot on the floor and thinks, ‘Oh, I better go over’.
“It is an exaggerated fall, it is an awful decision and it’s encouraging diving. It is encouraging players to go down.”
Referee Anthony Taylor took his time before awarding the penalty that infuriated Wigan and ended the League One side’s resistance.
And some viewers reckoned Fernandes was entitled to highlight the fact he had been caught, as he spiralled over and clutched his foot.
But one fan called Fernandes an “absolute embarrassment” and added sarcastically: “Great example from the club captain”.
Another posted: “Why’s he holding his shin? Tragic.”
A third joked: “There was more contact with the pensioner I grappled with to get the last box of half price mince pies at Morrisons and she managed to stay on her feet. “
And several accused the 63-cap ex-Sporting Lisbon man, 29, of being a known “diver”.