Referee sorry amid fall-out from Werner dive controversy


Timo Werner and referee Bastian Dankert have given conflicting accounts over the awarding of a controversial penalty to RB Leipzig in their 2-1 win over Schalke.

Werner won a spot-kick for Leipzig, which he duly converted, in the first minute of Saturday's Bundesliga clash after Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann had been adjudged to have felled him, though replays clearly showed the former Stuttgart striker had dived.

Sead Kolasinac levelled matters for Markus Weinzierl's side, but then put through his own net to hand the points to Leipzig, who remain unbeaten and three points ahead of defending champions Bayern Munich at the top of the table.

Following the final whistle, Werner claimed to have told the referee that Fahrmann, who was shown a yellow card after the the penalty decision, had not impeded him.

"I'm sorry that it looks like a dive but that wasn't my intention. I told the referee that I wasn't fouled by Fahrmann but by Naldo," he said.

However, Dankert told Sky: "I must contradict this, there has been no conversation between Werner and myself.

"In view of the TV pictures, this was a mistake. I'm sorry."

Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuttl addressed the incident, saying: "We should not have been awarded that penalty in the first half, but, apart from that, it was a really good game."

Fahrmann, who claimed it was an episode that "makes you sick", was bemused by the decision.

He said: "I do not understand how the referee could award a penalty, show me a yellow card but afterwards say it was Naldo that committed the foul.

"The penalty decision completely changed the game. The small details proved to be the difference. Timo Werner said himself that I did not foul him. I do not understand why the referee did not react to this correspondingly.

"It is frustrating that the game was changed by this decision so early on. I think we would have deserved a draw because we created some good chances.

"We cannot blame anyone but ourselves for their second goal. However, I did not do anything to Werner to give away the penalty. That was really frustrating. "

Schalke sporting director Christian Heidel took issue with Werner celebrating his goal.

"He scores and goes celebrating to the corner. I don't think he earned any sympathy there," Heidel said. "But others would say he's a professional. I'm of a different opinion. I wouldn't be happy if one of ours did that."