VAR’s decision to not award Man Utd and Fred a penalty explained

Manchester United were not awarded a penalty when Fred went down in the box during Sunday’s 2-0 win over Manchester City because VAR officials felt there was not enough contact.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and co were left baffled when the Brazilian was booked for simulation by Mike Dean after being brought down by City defender Nicolas Otamendi.

The 73,000 fans in attendance were also left in the dark over the decision as there was no clarification by the stadium announcer whether VAR had checked Dean’s decision.

BeINSPORTS were told by the Premier League’s on-site representative at half-time that the penalty call was not checked by technology because of ‘the immediacy of the continuation of play’.

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Nevertheless, the officials at Stockley Park contradicted that statement by insisting it had been reviewed.

Sky Sports then communicated at half-time that “the degree of contact [was] not sufficient enough for Fred to go down and warrant a penalty”.

Solskjaer bemoaned the decision despite picking up three points, saying he has “different eyes” to the Video Assistant Referee.

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“Penalty, clear penalty,” he said.

“Yeah [I asked Dean]. They checked it, apparently, so… Well, we've got different eyes.”

Fred, who picked up his 11th booking of the season as a result, was one of several impressive United performers in a crucial win over their bitter rivals.

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Anthony Martial first broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark at Old Trafford, getting on the end of Bruno Fernandes’ free-kick and tucking the ball past City goalkeeper Ederson at his near post.

And as Pep Guardiola’s side huffed and puffed, Scott McTominay sealed the victory deep into stoppage time when Ederson’s poor clearance allowed him to fire into an empty net from 35 yards out.

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“The desire, attitude, commitment, connection between fans and players pleased me most,” Solskjaer said.

“We pressed them, pushed them back, we tried to be aggressive and we made them make mistakes.

“It is a privilege to be a manager of a squad with this attitude. You cannot ask for more. For our players to beat a team like Manchester City is fantastic, I am delighted for them.”

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