It’s safe to say that Manchester United are one of the clubs that have felt some of the heavy effects of VAR.
Since its introduction into the Premier League in the 2019/20 season, there have been more times than you can count when an official has run over to the pitch-side television.
This is always met by nervous anticipation from the crowd, followed by a cheer, but more often than not a groan.
This has been a recurring event at Old Trafford – but we’ve certainly been on both sides. So, with this – here are the worst VAR decisions involving Manchester United in Premier League games.
Andre Onana vs Wolves
One that’s fresh in the minds to begin with, it’s Andre Onana versus Wolves.
The Cameroonian goalkeeper was having a fine Premier League debut, that was until right at the death when an inswinging ball came in from Wolves.
The United goalkeeper clattered into Sasa Kalajdzic, winning none of the ball. However – it was waved off by both the on-field referee and VAR.
A scored penalty would have made it 1-1, so the Red Devils seriously got away with this one.
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Edinson Cavani vs West Ham United
Marcus Rashford‘s added-time winner against West Ham sparked a huge VAR controversy back in January 2022.
Many were convinced Edinson Cavani was offside after providing an assist for Rashford.
The Hammers looked set for a point at Old Trafford before the English winger netted with virtually the last kick of the game.
It was once again a case of having to trust the lines… but many believed it was still offside.
Alejandro Garnacho vs Arsenal
A heartbreaker for United fans, particularly the away section where the limbs looked immense.
United and Arsenal were neck and neck heading into the 89th minute of time at the Emirates before the Argentine winger Alejandro Garnacho was sent through on goal.
He dispatched beautifully, sending reds into a state of sheer ecstasy. However, after the celebrations, VAR ruled it out – with the forward being offside by the finest of margins.
Arsenal then went on to win the game 3-1, with two stoppage-time goals. Heartbreak.
Gabriel Martinelli vs Manchester United
Martinelli had put Arsenal 1-0 ahead at Old Trafford in the 12th minute after Bukayo Saka played the Brazilian through on goal.
However, much to the delight of the home fans – the referee ruled out the goal after judging Odegaard to have fouled Christian Eriksen before Saka took possession.
This was ‘dubious’ to say at the least. United then went on to go and win the game 3-1, with Antony scoring on his debut.
Bruno Fernandes vs Manchester City
Webb publicly admitted that Bruno Fernandes’ goal in the Manchester derby would be disallowed if the situation was to ever be repeated.
It was a really strange one, with the intended ball meant for Rashford, who ended up leaving the ball for Bruno to strike.
This swung the balance of the game, with United going on to win the fixture 2-1.
Emile Smith Rowe vs Manchester United
This one was simply baffling.
David de Gea lay in a heap on the floor following an Arsenal corner, when Emile Smith Rowe fired the ball into the net
The referee did not seem to award the goal initially, but VAR instructed him to do so after checking. It turned out it was in fact Fred who had stood on De Gea’s foot – hence meaning no foul.
United thankfully still won 3-1, but this seriously annoyed caretaker manager Michael Carrick.
Anthony Martial vs Spurs
Injustice is the word.
Antony Martial was sent off for ‘slapping’ Erik Lamela in the penalty box during the 2020/21 season. This would have been fair… if the Argentine was sent off as well!
Instead, he stayed on the pitch, for essentially doing the exact same thing. The only difference – Lamela went down.
Jan Bednarek vs Man United
Last but not least, another howler from VAR – but particularly Mike Dean.
The Southampton defender was sent off after referee Dean consulted the monitor, judging the centre-back deliberately brought downMartial in the area for a penalty.
Which was fine in itself, but he also decided to red-card the Polish centre half.
Southampton went on to lose the game 9-0, whilst already being seven down at the time. The Premier League rescinded the red for Bednarek after the fixture, as it definitely wasn’t deserved.