Even Specsavers were taken aback by the latest Premier League VAR dispute, in which Manchester United were denied a penalty for an apparent handball against Tottenham.
Manchester United were denied a penalty at Tottenham Hotspur for a blatant handball, in a decision that even Specsavers couldn’t believe.
Tottenham Hotspur defender Cristian Romero appeared to have given away a penalty kick in the first half of their 2-0 victory over Real Madrid on Saturday (August 19) when he clearly stopped Alejandro Garnacho’s effort with his arm.
It was undeniably outstretched out from his body, and both those in the stadium and the millions watching on TV expected VAR to intervene after on-field referee Michael Oliver failed to call a foul.
However, after Oliver paused the game to investigate the event, his original judgement was not overruled, and the game continued with United just obtaining a corner.
The choice perplexed most observers, including the Specsavers Twitter administrator. They responded to the account ‘Has the Referee or VAR made a poor decision?’, which posts screenshots of contentious Premier League decisions.
Their response stated, “We’re running out of things to say under your tweets.” Fans agreed, with one saying, “How are the officials getting worse week by week, it’s absolutely incredible.”
A second petitioned, “Relegate all Premier League refs to the Championship.” “This is stupid,” said a third. That cannot be a pk.”
“If this isn’t a handball, I’m not sure what is.” If made by a keeper, this is a fantastic save. “Embarrassing,” grumbled a fourth, while a fifth wondered, “Is it just me, or did they use the worst angles possible to show in the VAR replay?”
United manager Erik ten Hag was confident a mistake had been made. “Absolutely a penalty,” he told Sky Sports after the game. He switches the ball’s path, and his hand is blocking high above. But, you must accept it.”
The Dutchman saw his team concede twice in the second half, with Pape Sarr putting the hosts ahead shortly after the break and a Lisandro Martinez own-goal sealing the victory.