MICAH RICHARDS joked he’ll text Jack Grealish after his pal “made a meal” of winning a controversial penalty.
Roy Keane compared the antics of Manchester City wideman Grealish to comedy actor Norman Wisdom but fans slammed the “dive of the season” in a 3-1 win against Aston Villa.
Sky Sports pundits Richards and Keane had fun re-watching Grealish’s tumble as City closed to within three points of leaders Arsenal, who have a game in hand.
But observers on social media were less forgiving for what one labelled “blatant cheating” and another called “absolutely awful”.
With City 2-0 up at the Etihad, Grealish veered across Villa midfielder Jacob Ramsey, who appeared to catch him with the merest of touches.
Grealish carried on for a split-second before flinging himself down with his arms raised, twisting to end up on his back.
Former City defender Richards said: “He gets clipped, doesn’t he, but let’s be honest, I’m going to text him later on. He has made a meal out of that.”
Manchester United legend Keane chipped in: “You know who he reminds me of? Norman Wisdom!”
Asked by Richards who that was, the ex-Ireland midfielder explained: “He’s an actor, He used to fall over.”
Keane, though, also highlighted the guile of Grealish in winning the spot-kick.
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The former Sunderland boss said: “He was doing this for years at Aston Villa. He used to frustrate lots of teams.
“But when you get across people in the box you are almost asking to be punished. Ramsey is trying to get himself out of it, but Jack’s clever enough to get close enough.
“There’s almost a tangle of legs, the ref doesn’t have a choice, It’s smart by Jack.”
In contrast, fans on Twitter laid into the “embarrassing” England star.
One posted: “Grealish diving is hardly a surprise. That’s the sum total of his entire career.”
Another wrote: “It’s done the ‘Aston Vlla legend’ fanboys no favours.”
Other comments included: “He’s made a career out of this, I dunno why people are shocked” and “Grealish takes his diving skills to South American levels.”
A third said: “It’s never a penalty and Grealish makes the most of it. He’s been doing it for years. “