Manchester United won their opener, 1-0 today at home over Wolverhampton Wanderers, but the victory was controversial, to say the least. According to Wolves manager Gary O’Neil, his club was issued an apology by Select Group 1 Manager of the PGMOL Jonathan Moss.
He apparently admitted that when VAR checked the incident where United goalkeeper Andre Onana and Wolves center forward Sasa Kalajdzic collided, the ruling was a mistake, and a penalty should have been given.
Should Wolves have had a penalty? ? pic.twitter.com/U2v3fnHhDM
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 14, 2023
Judge for yourself by viewing the video above.
“I was told live that they didn’t think that it was a clear and obvious error,” O’Neil said in postgame media.
But having spoken to Jonathan Moss, and fair play to him for coming straight out, he has apologized and said it was a blatant penalty that should have been given.
Yes, that should be a stonewall penalty after Onana punched Kalajdzic and completely missed the ball! pic.twitter.com/F7xb5JZeyK
— Has the Referee or VAR made a poor decision? (@PoorEPLreferees) August 14, 2023
“I feel bad because he has come out honestly. I spent the afternoon with him, trying to understand the new guidelines and trying not to get myself booked with the new guidelines, which I failed to do.
“Fair play to Jon saying it was a clear and obvious error. He can’t believe the on-field referee didn’t give it and VAR didn’t intervene. That probably makes me feel even worse. Once you know you’re right, you feel worse leaving with nothing.”
Well, it is still up for debate. But then again, hey, VARchester United.
Either way, you got to credit Onana for turning in a Man of the Match level performance today. The summer transfer window acquisition from Inter Milan registered a clean sheet and was United’s best player on the pitch tonight.
Moving on, hopefully, this season will see Antony score goals in a manner that will justify his crazy high price tag. Because he didn’t do it last term.
He did provide a major moment of entertainment in this match though, which was made even funnier because you had the right announcer on the call.
Peter Drury’s commentary makes this Antony tie-up 10 times better! ? #MUFC
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) August 14, 2023
Finally, about that lone goal of this game, it was scored by Raphael Varane, and it was indeed a thing of beauty. ICYMI, here is the footage below:
Bruno Fernandes Pre-Assist
Aaron Wan Bissaka Assist
Raphael Varane Goal
I’ll be watching this goal in my dreams tonight. Goodnight folks ? pic.twitter.com/nI3KlC4eGa
— Bruno Fernansh™? (@BrunoFernanshh) August 14, 2023
It was a great set-up, by everyone involved. Overall, though, in regards to escaping with the win, and that blown call…Hey, sometimes it is indeed better to be lucky than good.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He’s written for numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune. He regularly appears on NTD News and WGN News Now. Follow the website on Twitter and Instagram.