Manchester United were completely played off the park by Brighton and Hove Albion in their fifth Premier League game of the season.
The team lost 1-3, and could have been much more, such was the performance by Erik ten Hag’s men.
However, in a “what if” scenario, United’s “equaliser” in the first half, scored by Rasmus Hojlund, was ruled out by VAR.
Now, veteran referee, now retired Mike Dean has explained why VAR chalked it off.
Near the end of the first half, Marcus Rashford ran at Van Hecke and went to the byline before crossing the ball inside to Hojlund.
Hojlund took a touch and steadied himself before firing past Jason Steele.
However, VAR checked it and deemed that the ball had gone out of play before Rashford had managed to square it inside. Thus, the air was taken out of Old Trafford as United went into the break trailing by a goal.
Mike Dean agreed with the VAR decision, and said the following on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday–
“Out of play and in play is [a straightforward decision] but it is very, very tight and I can understand why the assistant referee hasn’t seen it,” he said.
“It took a lot of freeze frames forwards and backwards, forwards and backwards, but the ball had just gone out so the correct decision by the VAR.”
As per Law 9, it is clear that the ball should wholly cross the line, on the ground or in the air, for it to be deemed outside.
The decision remained contentious among a section of fans as different freeze frame angles of the scenario showed different images of the ball being out or not.
Eventually, it summed up a forgettable afternoon for United as Brighton came into the second half and extended their lead to 0-2.
Efforts to get back into the game backfired for United as Brighton scored again to make it 0-3 before Hannibal Mejbri smashed in a consolation goal from range.