HomeFeatured ArticlesControversy at Old Trafford: Wolves Cry Foul Over Missed Penalty

Controversy at Old Trafford: Wolves Cry Foul Over Missed Penalty

Old Trafford’s Late Game Drama

It was a moment that sparked a heated debate amongst fans and professionals alike. At the heart of Old Trafford, the iconic stadium witnessed an intense clash, culminating in a moment that left Wolves’ boss Gary O’Neil both frustrated and bewildered. Manchester United secured a slender victory of 1-0, with Raphael Varane’s majestic header marking the difference between the two sides.

O’Neil’s Outburst: A Penalty Overlooked?

O’Neil didn’t mince words post-game, expressing his sheer disbelief at the pivotal moment when United’s keeper, Andre Onana, seemingly bulldozed Sasa Kalajdzic without making a semblance of contact with the ball.

O’Neil didn’t hold back, saying, “Jon Moss said it was a blatant penalty and should have been given – fair play to him, he apologised.” It’s evident that O’Neil had engaged in lengthy discussions with Moss to grasp the new officiating guidelines better, though unfortunately, this didn’t prevent him from receiving a booking.

He added, “But fair play to Jon for coming out and saying it was a clear and obvious error – he couldn’t believe the on-field referee didn’t give it and can’t believe VAR didn’t intervene. It probably made me feel worse, actually, because you know you are right. I feel worse about leaving with nothing. Live, I was told they didn’t think it was a clear and obvious error.”

Moss Steps Forward

Intriguingly, Jon Moss, recently crowned as the general manager of England’s elite referees by Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), made it a point to approach O’Neil amidst his media commitments. Furthermore, reports from reliable sources, as covered by BBC Sport, highlight that PGMOL chief Howard Webb reached out to the Wolves’ officials, extending an apology for the oversight.

The decision-making trio for the game comprised Simon Hooper, officiating on-field, and Michael Salisbury holding the reins as the VAR. To shed light on their credibility, Salisbury was previously sidelined for a game after a controversial decision during a Tottenham vs Brighton clash.

Players & Managers Weigh In

Andre Onana, the keeper in question, provided a different perspective. Commenting on the incident, he remarked, “No, goalkeepers make decisions, sometimes you are right, sometimes you are not. For me it was contact between two big guys and nothing happened. But for us, the most important thing was to win and I am happy for the victory. Of course I was confident [a penalty would not be given].”

Manchester United’s gaffer, Erik ten Hag, subtly dodged the topic. Instead, he spoke about the referee’s intentions, which primarily revolved around booking O’Neil for his vehement protest – a gesture reinforcing the zero-tolerance policy towards any form of managerial aggression this season.

Drawing on past experiences, O’Neil reflected on his conversations with Howard Webb during his time at Bournemouth. He opined, “I don’t think officials are favouring one side, I just think it is human nature if there is something you are not quite sure on, you, me, everybody would be impacted by the Old Trafford crowd and the fact it is Manchester United. But VAR should be able to give a penalty.”

In the grand theatre of football, where emotions run high and decisions are dissected under a microscope, this match will surely be one for the books. Manchester United and Wolves have provided a talking point that will be debated for some time.

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