Manchester United boosted their title credentials with a 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Friday – but the decision to give Solskjaer’s side a second-half penalty has become the main talking point of the match.
The referee pointed to the spot after Douglas Luiz appeared to clip Paul Pogba inside the box – a call which was supported by VAR – and Bruno Fernandes restored the hosts’ lead from the penalty at Old Trafford.
Just three minutes earlier, Bertrand Traore had cancelled out Anthony Martial’s goal with a cool finish past David de Gea from close range.
Dean Smith claimed Pogba ‘tripped himself up’ at his post-match press conference and Douglas Luiz also professed his innocence on social media, calling for officials to ‘start using VAR correctly’.
‘I see this video, I can’t believe it was a penalty,’ he told his followers. ‘I always support fairer football, with fewer mistakes, but then I stop and see these types of moves.
‘If we have VAR to help, LET’S start using it CORRECTLY, these mistakes can define the future of clubs!’
The Villa defender also retweeted a video of Pogba appearing to tell Luke Shaw to dive in the 57th minute of the game, just moments before the penalty call.
It’s clear that Shaw’s decision to stay on his feet after a tussle with Matty Cash did not go down well with the Frenchman.
The result put the Red devils level on points with Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table and Solskjaer said his team had ‘improved immensely’ over the last 12 months.
‘You are always delighted with three points. The performance was good and we created chances,’ the United boss told BBC Sport.
‘It was maybe a little too open and we wasted chances. We tried to play the Hollywood pass instead of securing the first one and using the space that was there.
‘We are happy with what we are doing. We have shown we have improved a lot in a year. We lost to Arsenal away last New Year’s Day. We have improved immensely.’