Thursday, April 12th, 2012
“We felt that Van Nistelrooy played a huge part in [Vieiria's] sending-off, and we felt cheated. We felt further cheated because we didn’t think it was a penalty. So, yes, my behaviour was not acceptable from an Arsenal point of view, but you can’t take that back. I rang my wife after the game, and she’s usually very supportive, but she said ‘I think you’ve gone and done it now’. It was the first time she’d ever said anything like that.” – Martin Keown to the Independent in 2008.
German football fans had their own Keown/Van Nistelrooy copycat incident on Wednesday night during Borussia Dortmund’s huge 1-nil win over Bayern Munich.
With just four games remaining in the Bundesliga season, Dortmund opened up a 6-point lead on their Bavarian rivals to leave them in touching distance of the title. The win, however, almost never happened.
After Robert Lewandowski backheeled Dortmund in the lead in the 77th minutes, Bayern had the chance to level when Arjen Robben hit the deck to win a penalty in the 85th minute.
Surprisingly, however, Robben saw his penalty saved by keeper Roman Weidenfeller and that sparked Neven Subotic’s now infamous reaction.
With German lip-readers claiming that the Serb called Robben a “bastard” in his outburst, many were taken aback as Subotic aggressively got in the Dutch forward’s face immediately after missing his first penalty in 12 attempts.
After the match Subotic defended his actions labelling Robben a diver, but whether that really excused his behaviour remains doubtful.