United’s farewell match under Michael Carrick got started to the worst — and oddest — conceivable start on Sunday against Crystal Palace, with new interim head coach Ralf Rangnick scheduled to be in the bench.
United’s goalkeeper David de Gea was hurt after just 15 minutes when defending a corner kick against Arsenal.
Emile Smith Rowe scored on a shot from the edge of the box as De Gea lay curled up in a ball on the goal line, but referee Martin Atikinson seemed to miss the incident and let play continue.
Replays indicated that it was De Gea’s own teammate Fred who stood on his ankle, although Atkinson blew his whistle to suggest the goal had been disallowed at first.
United’s Players Crowded the Referee in Anger, but they might not have had any Legitimate Concerns.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta told Amazon Prime Video after the game, “I’ve never seen anything like it.” The referee ruled it a goal, and the video assistant referee confirmed it.
United midfielder Bruno Fernandes said after the game that the ball should have been taken out of play as it became clear that De Gea had been injured, as is customary in soccer matches.
Normal procedure dictates that the game be stopped if the goalkeeper is injured, as the Portuguese midfielder pointed out. Yet, blunders are inevitable. There will inevitably be errors made by the players.
I don’t know if the official made a mistake or not. “If that’s the case, then maybe it will happen.”
Paul Tierney, the match referee, was called in because the fourth official was unable to decide whether or not the foul should have been called. The goal was overturned because he later ruled that something he had previously ruled was not a foul actually was.
It has been linked to previous controversial VAR moments, and is now being used as evidence against the use of VAR in retroactive decisions.
After the game, Mikel Arteta commented on what happened, saying, “The referee admitted [later] it was an extremely soft decision – we just ask for consistency, today we disallowed the goal again, there is nothing we can do regrettably now.”
At the 52-minute mark, United took the lead thanks to a goal by Cristiano Ronaldo, who finished a flawless United play with a low, sweeping shot.
Two minutes later, though, Arsenal tied the game when Martin Odegaard finished a pass from Gabriel Martinelli with a stroke into the far corner.
Unfortunately for the Norwegian midfielder, his heroics would be short-lived as his bizarre foul on Fred inside the area resulted in a penalties for United, which Ronaldo calmly converted 20 minutes from time to give Carrick a fitting send-off.