Michail Antonio thinks it was an “unwritten rule” for Erling Haaland to give Ilkay Gundogan the ball to take the penalty in last Saturday’s Premier League win over Leeds.
The Norway international – who is the designated penalty taker – handed the ball to Gundogan to give him chance to complete his hat-trick, only for his effort to hit the post.
Manager Pep Guardiola was furious on the touchline at the gesture, but West Ham forward Antonio feels the criticism was unfair.
“It’s an unwritten rule to be fair,” he said on The Footballer’s Football Podcast. “Obviously, managers don’t like it because they believe their penalty taker is their penalty taker, but between players it’s an unwritten rule.
“You don’t get many opportunities to get a hat trick. I’ve seen it before, where players don’t hand over the ball, because they’re the penalty taker.
“I just feel like they’re taking the mick.”
Newcastle striker Callum Wilson on the other hand, would not have been handing over the ball had he been in Haaland’s position.
“If you’re on two goals, well done, but I’m getting my goal,” said the England international.
“At 2-0, you’re not guaranteed victory. You know what the Premier League’s like – teams have scored last minute goals here, there and everywhere.
“I’m selfish, hungry for goals, but that’s just me.
“If Haaland was one goal away from the record, there’s no way on this earth that he’s giving that ball to Gundogan.”
Whatever your verdict, it is clear who will be on penalty duty if required at Goodison Park come Sunday.