Timo Werner’s penalty controversy fuels RB Leipzig’s many critics

AFP

Last summer, Timo Werner was recommended to one Premier League club that has been struggling for goals this season. The 20-year-old German had not fulfilled his obvious potential at hometown club Stuttgart, and it was clear he had the talent to succeed elsewhere. So it has been proven: as that English side faces a battle against the drop, Werner’s current side sits atop the Bundesliga, still three points clear of Bayern Munich, whom it faces on December 21.

Werner scored again Friday, this time in the 2-1 win over Schalke. He has now scored eight league goals this season, more than any other Under-21 player in the top five leagues. But his performance was overshadowed by a first-minute dive to win a penalty, when goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann avoided contact with the striker but was booked anyway. Werner scored the penalty and in so doing, made his team even more hated among rival fans threatened by its lofty position.

Werner has been unfairly compared to Miroslav Klose, who famously rejected a penalty awarded to him when playing for Lazio, and pundits have claimed that “a fair gesture… would have brought Leipzig much more than the three points.”

This may be true, but have some sympathy for Werner here. He’s young, and he will learn from this experience. The German FA announced Monday morning that it would take no action against the striker.

“The player would only be punished if Timo Werner had lied to the referee after the incident; he didn't do that,” said a DFB statement. 

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