Man United Win in Very Unique, Strange and Controversial Fashion


Fergie time, named for the greatest manager in Premier League history, Sir Alex Ferguson, is when Manchester United score a goal deep into extra time. As of just a couple hours ago, “Ole time,” named for current manager Ole Gunnar Solskajer, is when United score a goal AFTER the final whistle.

Yes, you read that right, because that’s exactly what happened today at the Amex Stadium where United were, well “better lucky than good,” as the cliche goes. Man United saw the hosts, Brighton and Hove Albion equalize via Solly March at the 90’+5′.

With that it seemed like the Seagulls would rescue a point from this one and United would drop two.

However, there was one last plot twist as Neal Maupay, who made all the headlines in the first half for totally different reasons (we’ll get to that in a bit), was found to commit a hand ball penalty, and thus United were awarded a spot kick, converted by Bruno Fernandes at 90’+10′.

Thus, United won a game with the very last kick, which transpired after the final whistle. Crazy! And what transpired led Fergie (not the pop star) to be trending on social media, understandably so.

United got a win they really didn’t deserve, as Brighton hit the woodwork five times, won the possession battle and held advantages in shots and shots on goal. Additionally, one of United’s three scores came via an own goal from Lewis Dunk.

The Red Devils had issues in all facets of their team today, and there is only a sense of relief, not joy, in a victory like this. Getting back to Maupay, he opened the scoring in this one, from the spot, via a Paneka. Take a look:

Some believe that the Paneka bit disrespectful, because it’s like an off-speed pitch in baseball; a blooper ball. Well, it’s risky, and it’s allowed in the rule book, so I don’t see an issue of sportsmanship with this one. If you don’t want someone to celebrate scoring a Paneka on you, well, stop the shot, and that’s very difficult to do, because as a goalkeeper you would have to completely change your approach.

The way to stop a shot like this is to just stand there, but this is the least of United’s worries right now. Today’s win, an extremely narrow escape, just did not inspire confidence at all.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank, partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” has regularly appeared in WGNSports Illustrated, Chicago Tribune and SB Nation. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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