Lionel Messi got his World Cup goal tally ticking over with an early penalty against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, but the incident that led to the penalty being awarded was the source of an epic half-time disagreement between pundits Roy Keane and Graeme Souness.
The spot kick was awarded after Leandro Paredes was dragged down in the area by Saudi defender Saud Abdulhamid.
It was the type of penalty area tussle we see regularly, but rarely see penalised, and has set a precedent that referees will come down harsher on such incidents during this World Cup.
Discussing the penalty at half-time on ITV, Roy Keane and Graeme Souness nearly came to blows, with Souness agreeing with the referee's decision, while Keane felt it set a worrying precedent.
Keane and Souness' disagreement got heated, with Keane at one stage being asked to stop speaking by his counterpart.
Roy Keane and Graeme Souness on verge of scrap on ITV
Argentina's opener against Saudi Arabia came from a contentious penalty, after Leandro Paredes was hauled down in the area.
Argentina 1-0 Saudi Arabia: Lionel Messi opens the scoring from the penalty spot and already it looks like it's going to be a long way back for the Saudis.
#FifaWorldCup #RTESoccer pic.twitter.com/yz3m2QYdpp
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) November 22, 2022
Though the Argentinean was undoubtedly dragged down, pundits were in disagreement as to whether the incident warranted a penalty.
Discussing the incident on ITV, Keane and Souness went at each other, with host Laura Woods caught in the crossfire. Keane saw the incident differently to Souness, believing that Paredes had instigated the contact.
Things got pretty heated between the two pundits - here is what was said:
Souness: He [Abdulhamid] doesn't know where the ball is, he's only interested in the Argentinean player [...] that's a penalty for me.
Keane: Nah, nah, nah. All this will do is encourage diving - he [Paredes] is dragging him down.
Souness: Roy, you're not listening to what Laura said. It's a directive from the referees. This is not about opinion. It's a fact - the guy wasn't looking at the ball.
Keane: Well I'm here to give my opinion, that is not a penalty.
Souness: This is not about our opinion. It's about the laws of the game.
Keane: Well what are we here for? I'm here to give my opinion, that's not a penalty. That's my opinion
Souness: The new law is that if -
Keane: I'm here to give my opinion, that's not a penalty. That's not a penalty in my eyes.
Souness: I've heard you say it ten times now, you want to say it again? Let someone else speak.
Keane: Go ahead. Go ahead, thank you for your time, no problem.
Souness: You'll learn a lot more if you listen rather than talk all the time. The ball comes in, he's not looking at the ball, the directive to the referees is that that's a penalty. We have to accept it's a penalty.
Keane [a moment later]: We're going to see a record number of penalties awarded at this World Cup.
Souness: Oh, I thought we'd moved on from that.
Roy Keane and Graeme Souness arguing about the Argentina penalty 😂😂😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/Ih4KgREcaD
— Nah. (@JinnIbnThere) November 22, 2022
Both men are known to be outspoken in their opinions, but the clash between Roy Keane and Graeme Souness was certainly unlike any debate we've seen so far at the World Cup, and was a particularly intense argument.
Naturally, viewers were engrossed in the drama of the hilarious spat.
Keane and Souness nearly having a scrap on terrestetrial TV at 11am on a Tuesday is what World Cups are all about
— Tyrone Marshall (@TyMarshall_MEN) November 22, 2022
Souness and Keane playing the hits - and that’s exactly what we want.
— Max Rushden 💛🖤 (@maxrushden) November 22, 2022
I would pay good money to see Roy Keane scrap Graeme Souness.
— HLTCO (@HLTCO) November 22, 2022
The only positive of playing games in the Qatari heat is that Roy Keane and Graeme Souness might end up having a fight
— Si Lloyd (@SmnLlyd5) November 22, 2022
Not even 11am on a Tuesday morning and Souness and Keane are already scrapping 😂
— Jack 'Pie' McDermott (@the_pieface) November 22, 2022
Keane and souness two giants of hating going at it pic.twitter.com/g0fAnuMqc2
— 🛳 (@tucasloledo) November 22, 2022
Can't believe we're being treated to Graeme Souness and Roy Keane clashing heads over Argentina and Saudi Arabia at 11am on a Tuesday
— Nancy Gillen (@Nancy_Gillen) November 22, 2022
The silent bystander, Joe Cole, chimed in at the end of the discussion to agree with Graeme Souness. We imagine Roy Keane wasn't best pleased.