Manchester United fell victim to a controversial penalty that favored Manchester City at Old Trafford, further adding to the growing sense that referees and VAR decisions have not been kind to the Red Devils this season.
The match featured yet another contentious decision against Manchester United, with the odds seemingly stacked against them in the face of their fierce rivals, City. The controversy revolved around a first-half penalty awarded to City through VAR intervention, which alleged that Rasmus Hojlund had pulled back Rodri inside the penalty box.
Erling Haaland successfully converted the penalty, granting City the lead, which ultimately played a decisive role in their 3-0 victory.
While it remains speculative whether City would have emerged victorious regardless, the contentious nature of the penalty call only deepened the sense of injustice among United supporters.
The decision was thoroughly discussed on MUTV during both the match coverage and post-game analysis, and it left a strong impression on the commentators.
Former United defender David May expressed his disapproval, stating, “Yes, there’s a little tumble, but if that’s a penalty, then you’d be giving four or five penalties every game. It’s poor.”
This sentiment was echoed by former United trainee Danny Webber, who questioned why VAR was brought into play, emphasizing that there was no significant protest from the players. He also drew a parallel to a similar situation involving Marcus Rashford on the edge of the box.
The consensus against the decision was affirmed by BBC Radio 5 Live pundit Chris Waddle, who concurred that the penalty call was overly harsh. Waddle highlighted the commonplace nature of players holding each other in the game and suggested that applying this strict standard could result in an excessive number of penalties in every match.
The frustration and discontent among Manchester United fans were palpable, with some drawing comparisons to previous incidents, such as Rasmus Hojlund’s situation when he was brought down inside the box against Arsenal, but no penalty was awarded.