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Behind Forest’s Official Complaint After United Clash

The Heart of the Matter

In an adrenaline-charged showdown at Old Trafford, Nottingham Forest were left heartbroken after a 3-2 loss against Manchester United. What was more concerning, however, wasn’t just the scoreline. The buzz after the game was all about the officiating and, more specifically, the actions of referee Stuart Attwell and his team.


Forest’s Stance

“We really need to bite our tongue on this one.” These were the words of Forest’s boss, Steve Cooper, who was visibly upset post-match. He chose to keep most of his thoughts to himself but made it clear he wasn’t pleased with the decisions made on the pitch.

It wasn’t just Cooper. High-ranking Forest officials, upon exiting Old Trafford, were vocal about their disappointment regarding several decisions they believe ultimately swayed the game.


The Decisions Under Scrutiny

The spotlight was predominantly on two contentious decisions. First, there was the sending off of Forest skipper, Joe Worrall. Attwell believed Worrall was the last line of defence when he fouled Bruno Fernandes. But many argue that Willy Boly, Worrall’s central defensive partner, was close enough to intervene.

Then came the penalty award to Manchester United. The home side benefitted from a decision against Danilo, who was judged to have fouled Marcus Rashford. This decision, many opined, was unduly severe on the visitors, more so when Fernandes slotted home the penalty to claim what became the decisive goal of the match.

Robert Jones, the Video Assistant Referee, did review both calls but found no reason to overturn them, supporting Attwell’s original judgements.


Next Steps for Nottingham Forest

The aftershocks of the match are far from over. Nottingham Forest are currently in the process of lodging an official complaint with the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) about the refereeing display. It remains to be seen whether Forest will approach PGMOL directly, especially since the body is already facing scrutiny due to Mike Dean’s confession about a different incident involving Chelsea and Tottenham.


Cooper’s Concluding Thoughts

Reflecting on a match that saw Forest surge ahead 2-0 in the first four minutes, Cooper shared his disappointment: “In matches of this magnitude, you expect things to play out fairly. I’m cautious about saying too much, but I was taken aback by how quickly the decisions were reached. They undoubtedly were defining moments.”


As reported by the BBC, this incident adds to a series of controversies surrounding the role and decisions of match officials in high-pressure games. The footballing world will be watching closely to see how this unfolds.

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