Nov 6 (Reuters) - Manchester United's Ashley Young plunged headfirst into another diving controversy when the winger tumbled over to win a penalty during Tuesday's 0-0 Champions League draw at Real Sociedad.
Robin van Persie smashed the spot kick against the right post but Young's apparent theatrics left former United players accusing him of "conning" the referee.
"If you are a Manchester United player and you see a player getting tugged back you want him to go down. Ashley Young has obviously gone down too much over the last few months," former United captain Roy Keane said on ITV television.
"He's been heavily criticised in England, but of course we're playing in a foreign country and it's almost more acceptable. But I think he's conned the referee there."
Young, who was warned by manager David Moyes earlier in the season about diving, went down easily in front of the referee in the 69th minute after Sociedad's Markel Bergara appeared to tug his arm.
"This is as bad for me as all these over-the-top tackles we're getting at the moment because that is a conning of the referee," Sky Sports pundit and former United player Ray Wilkins said.
"I just wish Ashley would cut this out because he's a good player but he's getting a bad name."
Young has earned a reputation for going down easily in the area and Former United manager Alex Ferguson also "had a word" with him last year after several high-profile incidents in which the England international had fallen over.
This time, however, the player had Moyes's backing.
"I have seen it and the boy certainly tugs him in the box. If you look, the referee is two yards away for it and decided to give it," Moyes told reporters.
The draw, during which United squandered several second-half chances and had midfielder Marouane Fellaini sent off in the 90th minute for a second yellow card, left the English champions top of Group A on eight points from four games, one more than second-placed Bayer Leverkusen with two matches to play.
"We are still in a strong position," Moyes said. "I think if we had won tonight it would have given us a real, real chance of making sure that we are the team who were going to lead the group.
"But we are in a healthy position. You want to be on top but I do feel that we missed out on the chance tonight of making sure it was three (points)." (Writing by Alison Wildey; Editing by Sonia Oxley)