Manchester United have been the victim of several controversial refereeing decisions this season. Erik ten Hag has barely complained about the howlers made by the officials or the testing fixture list. The United manager has focused on what he can have an impact on, which is the performance of his players. This does not imply that we should ignore the decisions which should have been rendered in favour of the Red Devils. We look at the five incidents where Man United were treated unfairly by the officials. Manchester United 0-1 Real Sociedad Real Sociedad defeated Man United at Old Trafford in the Europa League group stage but only with the help of a controversial penalty. Lisandro Martinez rushed out to block David Silva’s shot from inside the box. The ball struck Martinez’s leg and bounced off to his arm which was very close to his body. The referee awarded Sociedad the penalty but when VAR reviewed the call, it was clear that the decision would be reversed. But to everyone’s surprise, VAR stood by the original call. The Spanish side scored the only goal of the game via that penalty to take home the important three points. Due to this loss, the Red Devils were forced to play two extra games against Barcelona in the Europa League play-off. Manchester United 3-1 Reading Christian Eriksen received a nasty challenge from Reading striker Andy Carroll, which has forced the midfielder to spend the last two months on the sidelines. Carroll’s tackle was dangerous and careless but the referee didn’t even brandish a yellow card. He was eventually dismissed for an early bath after receiving two yellow cards for his reckless tackles on Malacia and Casemiro. The striker should have been sent off much earlier but the referee thought otherwise. Manchester United 2-1 Crystal Palace Jeff Schlupp fouled Antony and then pushed the latter towards the advertisement boards. This gave rise to a melee between the two sets of players. After VAR’s review, Casemiro was handed a straight red card as he had both his hands around the neck of Will Hughes. When the referee was asked to go to the monitor, he was shown a still frame of Casemiro having his hands on Hughes. The referee should have requested to see the incident from other angles which would have confirmed that there was no excessive force or brutality used by the United midfielder. Casemiro was suspended from the next three games, including the crucial Premier League fixture against Arsenal which United lost 3-2. Barcelona 2-2 Manchester United When the Red Devils were leading 2-1, Jules Kounde was fortunate to avoid a red card. He brought Marcus Rashford down when the forward ran through on goal and had only the goalkeeper to beat. The French defender barged on the England international just on the edge of the box. Kounde should have been given his marching orders as he was the last man, but the referee didn’t even deem the incident as a foul. Manchester United 4-1 Real Betis Another European fixture and another La Liga side on our list. Real Betis scored the equaliser against the run of play at Old Trafford, but the goal should have been chalked off due to a handball. Juanmi, the creator of the goal, allowed the ball to touch his arm in the build-up. His arm played a pivotal role in helping him to control the ball before he passed it to Ayoze Perez who took the strike. VAR reviewed the incident but decided against United, leaving the home crowd perplexed.
Five incidents where Manchester United suffered from terrible refereeing decisions this season
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