Ralf Rangnick quizzed the refereeing and VAR on four key decisions in Manchester United’s 3-1 loss to Arsenal on Saturday. “We were at least unlucky with those three or four moments,” he said.
Was he right? We’ll take a look…
Handball by Cedric Soares
Jadon Sancho continued one of his maze runs and sent Cedric Soares towards his own goal.
The Arsenal full-back lost his balance and stumbled on the ground before appearing to stop the ball with his hand.
Sancho appealed for what could have been a free-kick or penalty, with the incident just on the edge of the penalty area.
However, referee Craig Pawson dismissed the appeals and there was no VAR intervention either.
Rangnick highlighted the incident after the game saying: “There was another handball problem in the first half, Jadon Sancho was involved.”
Ronaldo’s Denied Strike
Manchester United had the ball in the back of the net in the 58th minute when Victor Lindelof sent the ball past Cristiano Ronaldo, who swept eight yards out for what he thought was his second goal of the game.
Initially he looked offside but VAR checked the incident, and on second viewing it was a closer call than everyone thought.
Ben White’s foot was very close to playing the Portugal international but, after the lines were drawn in the footage, an offside was flagged.
However, Rangnick also highlighted the decision in his post-match press conference, and the German was adamant that Ronaldo was in on it.
He said: “Cristiano’s second goal wasn’t offside and you can even see it from that full perspective exactly on one line. I just saw it right after the game and if that’s the right picture, and I guess they showed me the right picture, you could see it, it was clearly a line on a line.
Has Elanga been denied a penalty?
In what turned out to be a busy day for referee Pawson, Anthony Elanga came in behind Nuno Tavares, who ended up on the wrong end. The left-back got a bit too tight against Elanga, who fell in the penalty area, but the referee again dismissed United’s appeals and VAR stayed with the decision on the pitch.
Again, Rangnick questioned the decision: “Anthony Elanga was arm in arm with [Tavares], the other player with him. At least, also questionable.”
Xhaka goal: Was Nketiah offside?
“Their third goal was clearly offside,” a disgruntled Rangnick said after the game.
Granit Xhaka unleashed a 25-yard strike with power and precision, and the ball flew past David de Gea and into the bottom corner to spark wild celebrations at the Emirates Stadium.
However, footage shows Eddie Nketiah standing in an offside position but was blocking the view of the Man Utd goalkeeper? The goal stood, but, again, Rangnick was firm with his sights.
He added: “I spoke to David de Gea after the game and he told me he just couldn’t see the ball because Nketiah was between Granit Xhaka and himself. They checked but for some reason, they still scored the goal.”
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