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23rd Apr 2022

Man United denied penalty in first half against Arsenal despite handball

Callum Boyle

Man United handball Arsenal

This game has had plenty of controversy

Manchester United were denied a clear penalty after replays showed Arsenal defender Cedric handling the ball in the box when facing up against Jadon Sancho.

The incident was one of a string of controversial events in the first half at the Emirates Stadium as both teams fought it out for a place in the top four.

Arsenal dealt the first blow early into the game as Nuno Tavares reacted quickest to David De Gea’s smart save from Bukayo Saka to give the Gunners an early lead.

There had been earlier controversy in the game

Mikel Arteta’s side thought they had then doubled their advantage when Eddie Nketiah scored from close range to put Arsenal two goals to the good, however this is where the controversy began.

After a lengthy look from VAR, the forward’s goal was ruled out after Nketiah was adjudged to have been offside, but VAR official Jarred Gillet then began to look at whether Arsenal should have been awarded a penalty or not for a foul on Saka by Alex Telles.

The wait for the decision felt like an age, with Gillet eventually telling referee Craig Pawson to take a look at the on-screen monitor.

Unsurprisingly, as with so many decisions which involve the on-screen monitor, a penalty was awarded, which England international Saka slotted home.

Despite United protests they were able to get themselves back into the game almost immediately as Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 100th Premier League goal to halve the deficit.

United were denied what looked like a clear penalty

With their tails up, United began their assault to find an equaliser and looked good value as Arsenal dangerously played around with the ball at the back.

Shortly after the half-hour mark, Sancho began to go up against Arsenal defender Cedric, who fell to the floor. In that process, the Portugal international appeared to clearly scoop the ball with his hand inside the box, however both referee Pawson and VAR didn’t see enough in it to award a penalty.

Man United handball Arsenal

The decision left several of the United players seething, including the likes of Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes, however their complaints fell on deaf ears as the game continued.

Man United handball Arsenal

A win for United would bring them level on points with fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, however defeat to fifth-placed Arsenal at the Emirates would all but end their slim hopes of finishing in the top four.

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