Arsenal 1-1 Leeds United

Walcott apologises for dive

January 8, 2011

Theo Walcott has apologised for diving to try to win a penalty during the closing stages of his side's third-round FA Cup tie against Leeds United at Emirates Stadium.

Theo Walcott
GettyImagesTheo Walcott rues a missed opportunity against Leeds

Adams: Fabregas keeps wasteful Gunners alive
Arsenal 1-1 Leeds United

Walcott came off the bench in the second half as Arsenal were trailing to a spot-kick from Robert Snodgrass.

Walcott found himself in the thick of the action as Arsenal pressed for an equaliser, and looked to have won a penalty after going down under a challenge from Paul Connolly. However, after consulting with his assistant, referee Phil Dowd changed his mind.

Moments later, though, it was a penalty when Walcott was tugged back by Ben Parker - and captain Cesc Fabregas stepped up to fire past Kasper Schmeichel and earn a replay at Elland Road.

Walcott issued a statement apologising for his actions.

The 21-year-old said on the club's official website: "I want to apologise to the managers because I actually dived. I was trying to win the penalty.

"I said to one of their players, 'Would you have done it?' and he said he probably would have. I am not the sort of player to do it, but I own up to it and apologise. It is something I don't want to see in my game."

Walcott continued: "I have heard some players say, 'If there is a slight touch, go down' and it can work both ways.

"It was one of those things. I am not happy with myself for doing that, but I am happy that we got the draw.

"I had a little joke with the referee afterwards saying, 'That was my first dive, can you tell?'

"I don't have to own up to it and I can't speak for other players, but I have just expressed how I feel. I hope people respect that."