Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta insists Santi Cazorla is not a cheat after the Gunners star was accused of diving to win a penalty in the 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.
Cazorla has been strongly criticised following his theatrical fall to the turf in the penalty area following a challenge from Albion defender Steven Reid that made no contact with the Spaniard.
Referee Mike Jones was convinced by Cazorla's tumble and awarded a penalty which Arteta converted to set Arsenal on course for a vital victory at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.
West Brom manager Steve Clarke claimed Jones should have spotted there was "zero contact" on Cazorla, but Arteta refused to accept his compatriot was the type of player who would attempt to con the referee.
"Santi was saying that he felt something. If there is a little (contact), it is (still) contact," Arteta said.
"The ref makes decisions, some right and some wrong. For me, it is not right to dive. Santi is not a player who dives.
"He has taken a lot this year because of the way he plays and if he has done it (it is) because he felt something and changed direction, but he is not that type of player."