Manchester United’s victory over West Bromwich Albion this evening has since seen VAR grab the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Fernandes makes the difference
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men welcomed the Baggies to Old Trafford a short time ago.
The Red Devils headed into proceedings aiming to build on a much-needed win prior to the international break, when United downed Everton by 3 goals to 1 at Goodison Park.
This brought to an end a run of just one win from their previous 4 in the Premier League, with the Manchester giants having sat in a lowly 14th in the English top-flight table ahead of kick-off this evening.
And, when all was said and done at Old Trafford, make it 2 wins from 2 is precisely what Solskjaer’s men managed.
To say that their 3-point haul was warranted, though, would be something of a stretch.
A frankly dismal display on the part of the hosts eventually saw a solitary strike decide the clash in their favour.
The game’s only goal came 10 minutes into the 2nd-half when, after West Brom’s Darnell Furlong handled the ball in the United box, referee David Coote did not hesitate in pointing to the spot.
Bruno Fernandes saw his initial effort superbly stopped by Sam Johnstone in the Baggies’ goal, only for a subsequent VAR check to reveal that the Red Devils youth product was stood off his line when the ball was kicked.
The penalty, in turn, was retaken, with Fernandes having made no mistake 2nd time round:
Missed the first time✖️
Scored the second time! 🎯
Bruno Fernandes makes no mistake with his second penalty after Sam Johnstone was ruled to be off the line from the first attempt… pic.twitter.com/mway3HwJpe
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 21, 2020
The ensuing 40 minutes saw Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford go close, as Johnstone, looking as though he had something to prove against his ex-side, continued to excel.
West Brom, meanwhile, were desperately unlucky not to level things up when Callum Robinson rattled David de Gea’s crossbar from distance.
In the end, though, as outlined above, Manchester United hung on for all 3 points, to climb into the top half of the Premier League table.
In the immediate aftermath of proceedings coming to a close in Manchester this evening, a number of noteworthy takeaways have since been widely discussed amongst fans and the media alike.
Unsurprisingly, the disappointing performance of the hosts has garnered much attention, as United continue to look lacking in any real form of identity under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The industrious display of Chelsea loanee Conor Gallagher has also been on the lips of many Blues fans.
Without doubt, though, as the days and weeks pass, the key talking point when looking back on tonight’s exchanges, from a West Brom standpoint at least, will be the momentum-swinging decision to overturn a spot-kick awarded to the visitors early in the 2nd-half.
Less than a minute after the interval, David Coote’s whistle blew, after Bruno Fernandes was adjudged to have fouled Conor Gallagher just inside the United penalty area.
Subsequent replays certainly appeared to suggest that the decision was the correct one, with Fernandes having seemingly missed the ball, before following through onto the shin of Gallagher.
As such, considering the clear-cut nature of the incident, it came as something of a surprise when the man in charge was called over to take a 2nd look on the VAR monitor.
And, following a lengthy check, to the bemusement of those watching on, referee Coote eventually came to the decision that his initial penalty call was incorrect.
In turn, the spot-kick was overturned, with West Brom’s chance to take the lead having gone up in smoke.
Less than 10 minutes later, meanwhile, Manchester United went in front at the other end, following the correct application of the rules by the evening’s VAR team.
The penalty call in question, alone, did not decide the destination of the 3 points this evening.
However, with the game on such a knife-edge, and hosts United looking completely bereft of ideas, it is hard to argue that, had West Brom taken the lead just inside the 2nd-half, Bilic’s men would’ve likely gone on to hold on for at least a point.
On a night when focus should be on one of the Premier League’s minnows testing a European giant to the best of their abilities, instead, it is VAR taking centre stage… Again.
Manchester United’s victory over West Bromwich Albion this evening has since seen VAR grab the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Fernandes makes the difference Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men welcomed the Baggies to Old Trafford a short time ago. The Red Devils headed into proceedings aiming to build on a much-needed win prior to theFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed