Ex-Premier League referee explains why Chelsea weren’t awarded a penalty vs Man Utd

Premier League

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher says Chelsea were wrongfully denied a spot-kick against Manchester United because those operating VAR were under too much pressure to make a fast decision.

United played a goalless draw with Chelsea on Saturday. But Solskjaer’s side were fortunate to avoid giving away a penalty after Maguire wrapped his arms around Azpilicueta in an attempt to clear Chelsea’s corner.

Referee Martin Atkinson, who was stood behind the incident, continued play while a subsequent VAR check did not award a penalty to Frank Lampard’s side.

And Gallagher, who officiated in the Premier League from 1992 to 2007, believes the VAR team cleared the particular incident too quickly because the ball was still in play while a decision was made.

‘I think it’s solely because the ball is in play and he cleared it too quickly,’ Gallagher told Premier League productions. ‘I think he looked at it, cleared it very quickly and didn’t scrutinise it.

‘I think when you look at it in depth, as we have, there’s no doubt whatsoever if Martin Atkinson is sent to the monitor I think he’d make a different decision. ‘What I would say, even if he sticks with the on-field decision, it would be readily accepted more.

‘It does raise a good talking point in so much as the one at half time with Rashford was looked at a few times. When the ball is dead, as the Rashford one was and I don’t think was a penalty at all, it’s much easier to look at over and over again.

‘This one because it was looked at in play, it’s almost as if you’ve got to make a decision instantly. ‘He’s under no pressure but when the ball is in play I feel VAR feel they’ve got to make a decision a little bit quicker.

‘And he did, he looked at it quickly and cleared it quickly. If they’d scrutinise it, and looked at it like we did, if he had said to Martin Atkinson, ‘I think it’s 50-50, you need to have a look’.

‘Martin’s view is a lot more difficult, but the other side, if he had seen it, he would have come to a different decision.’


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