Home ยป Manchester United on the end of yet another refereeing howler against Aston Villa

Manchester United on the end of yet another refereeing howler against Aston Villa

Free-kick which resulted in Villa's second goal should have been retaken

by Ayantan Chowdhury


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.

Christian Eriksen looked jaded and was not his usual creative self while Donny van de Beek, playing in Bruno Fernandes‘ absence, has underwhelmed in his last two starts.

Refereeing howler

The high-energy style of Fred or the physical presence of Scott McTominay would have been better suited for the contest.

Ten Hag will be worried about the lack of goal threat from his forwards with Cristiano Ronaldo looking like a shadow of his former self while Marcus Rashford was ineffective off the right.

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.

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.”

None of the United players complained, not even David de Gea which was surprising. Captain Cristiano Ronaldo was a mute spectator. Fernandes or Harry Maguire would certainly have protested.

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.

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