Manchester United legend Roy Keane has questioned the decision to award England a first-half penalty in their 2-1 over Belgium and suggests Jordan Henderson conned the referee by ‘screaming’ after Thomas Meunier had ‘barely touched him’.
Belgium, currently ranked the number one international team in the world, took the lead in Sunday’s Nations League clash as Romelu Lukaku converted from the penalty spot following a clumsy challenge from Eric Dier.
Marcus Rashford replied with a spot-kick of his own in the 39th minute after Meunier was adjudged to have hailed Henderson to ground while defending Kieran Trippier’s corner.
Gareth Southgate’s decision to start Mason Mount over Jack Grealish was vindicated in the second half as the Chelsea midfielder’s deflected strike looped in over Simon Mignolet to seal an important victory for the hosts.
But Keane felt there was plenty of room for improvement ahead of England’s match with Denmark and criticised the displays of Harry Maguire and Rashford while analysing the performance in the ITV Sport studio.
Keane also blasted Henderson – England’s stand-in captain at Wembley – for play-acting to win the Three Lions their penalty in the 16th minute.
‘I don’t think it’s a penalty,’ Keane told ITV Sport following England’s win.
‘He’s barely touched him. How can a player scream when he touches him on the shoulder?!
‘He’s screaming. You don’t need to scream.’
Meunier mocked Henderson for going down too easily as the pair exchanged words shortly after the final whistle but the Liverpool midfielder felt referee Tobias Stieler was right to award England the penalty.
‘I got in front of my man and I felt him pull me back on my shoulder,’ Henderson explained.
‘I felt it was a penalty!
‘He wasn’t sure it was a penalty, but I was pretty sure it was. I was in front of him and he pulled back on my shoulder.’
‘It was a good game to come into as Belgium are a very good side.
‘We’ve got to be delighted with the performance level and getting the three points.’