Former Premier League referee Mark Halsey is baffled by the VAR decision to overturn a penalty that was given to Manchester United against Southampton.
Edinson Cavani was fouled right on the edge of the box by Kayne Ramsay in the first half of the game and referee Mike Dean originally decided to give a penalty to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team at Old Trafford.
Should Manchester United have got a penalty?
However, VAR decided to overturn his call to a free-kick after watching replays that they think showed the first point of contact was outside of the penalty box.
There was a debate as to whether Cavani had planted any part of his foot on the line before the first point of contact from Ramsay, which thus would have resulted in a penalty kick.
Halsey believes that this was the case and that Dean’s original decision to give a penalty should have stood, speaking exclusively to The Transfer Tavern:
“When I saw the replay, you could just see his foot, the front of his toe, on the line. The line belongs to the penalty box, so I was surprised it was overturned.
“I thought it would have stayed with the on-field decision, I thought Mike Dean was correct in giving the penalty because it looked to me like it was on the line.”
Plenty of controversial VAR incidents
This particular incident involving VAR was not the only controversial one in the game, with Anthony Martial being awarded a penalty kick in the second half after Jan Bednarek was judged to have fouled the former AS Monaco striker, and because he did not make an attempt to play the ball, the central defender was also given a red card in a double whammy for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men. The red card was rescinded on Thursday.
Nonetheless, none of these incidents really mattered in the end as Man Utd romped to a 9-0 win over the Saints, but it is interesting to hear Halsey say it is actually a decision that went against the Red Devils that baffled him, given the other controversies in the match.
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