VAR, once again, has conspired against Manchester United and left their Champions League hopes hanging by a thread.
TNT Sports pundit and former United midfielder, Owen Hargreaves, has claimed that “VAR is getting a bit out of control.” Hargreaves went on to mention that all the decisions being made on screens is not what we love about the game.
The former English international was of course referring to the decision to send Marcus Rashford off just before half-time.
The decision itself would prove to be absolutely catastrophic for the Red Devils. United had jumped into a 2-0 lead thanks to two goals by Rasmus Hojlund and seemed to be taking a significant step to second place in the group.
However, the decision to send off Rashford after a VAR check resulted in a United collapse and despite a brave fight in the second half with 10 men, the team from Old Trafford could not hold on for a valiant point.
Fellow TNT Sports pundit, Paul Scholes echoed Hargreaves’ perspective on the sending off.
They both agreed that it was never a penalty in “a million years”. The Champions League winners both questioned the referee’s understanding of the game as a consequence of the red card decision.
Scholes in particular was sympathetic to Ten Hag and United’s plight. The former midfield maestro stated that while 9 defeats in 17 is not good enough, the team did show a “little bit of fight” on the night.
The pundit went on to claim that the team was probably lacking the leadership skills of a Casemiro and this fact most certainly contributed to their nightmare in Denmark. The former player bemoaned the team’s inability to concentrate in defensive situations.
The side’s poor mentality when their backs are against the wall has been a constant theme of this disappointing season for the side from Manchester.
Scholes did assert though that the solution is not to sack the under-fire Dutch manager, claiming they cannot keep repeating the same cycle of sacking the coach every 2 or 3 years. He also asserted the Red Devils “can’t afford” to fire him.
"I don't think we can afford to do it anymore, I think we've got to let this fella go with it."
Has ten Hag's time run out? Paul Scholes doesn't think so following United's defeat against Copenhagen 😬
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) November 8, 2023
It is unclear if the former England man was referring to the club’s finances or whether it was a show of support for Ten Hag. What is clear is that both the coach and the players have a heck of a job on their hands to salvage their European adventure. On to Turkey then.