Manchester United put in a below-par performance against Aston Villa on Sunday and succumbed to a 1-3 defeat which broke their nine-game unbeaten streak.
Many things went wrong for United on the day including fatigue, Erik ten Hag‘s selection calls and a gaping hole in the squad in terms of attacking substitutions.
When Ten Hag did make his subs, he brought on a below-par Anthony Elanga and left-back Tyrell Malacia, highlighting the lack of offensive firepower at this disposal.
The 20-time English champions deservedly lost the contest but the referee’s decisions did not help matters either. The second goal which came from a free-kick struck by Lucas Digne should have been retaken.
In a video grab, it can clearly be seen that Luke Shaw fouls Jacob Ramsey around 22 yards from goal. However, referee Anthony Taylor allows the Villa players to advance the ball quite a few yards forward in a much better position.
Disclaimer: We deserved to lose to Villa regardless of this, it is just yet another example of how poor officiating is directly affecting games.
Ten Hag said he didn't feel the wall was 10 yards away but I didn't notice how much Villa jumped the ball forward from the foul too. pic.twitter.com/HrgnSJ6pZA
— United Peoples TV (@UnitedPeoplesTV) November 7, 2022
The referee or his assistant should have spotted that blatant misuse of the ball and blown for the free-kick to be taken from further behind.
No united player complained
That was not the only gaffe from Taylor. Instead of measuring out 10 yards from the ball for United’s wall to stand, the ref put his vanishing spray more than 13 yards from the ball.
Ten Hag even went on to mention this point in his post-match press conference.
“I think the free-kick [from Lucas Digne] is stoppable because the wall is too far [over]. Okay, these small details, but small details make a difference in top football.”
Even Villa players were not too happy with the officiating from Taylor as Leon Bailey complained of a double elbow from Lisandro Martinez which escaped punishment.
Ten Hag will be hoping these small issues will not be repeated in future games while he will be asking for a lot more from his group pf players.