Wolves receive PGMOL apology as Man Utd get away with ‘blatant penalty’ | Football | Sport


Wolves manager Gary O’Neil has revealed that he has already received an apology from Professional Game Match Officials after his side were denied a late penalty against Manchester United. The ex-Bournemouth boss will be furious with the decision, ultimately kicking off his side’s 2023/24 campaign with a 1-0 defeat, with Raphael Varane scoring the all-important goal for the Red Devils against the run of play.

Wolves were the better side at Old Trafford on Monday night but failed to convert one of their 23 shots. However, they looked destined to be rewarded for their efforts and awarded the perfect chance from the penalty spot after United goalkeeper Andre Onana clattered into Sasa Kalajdžić in the 96th minute.

The ex-Ajax shot-stopper was attempting to anticipate a goal-bound header by leaping into the air with all four limbs spread but simply collided with the Wolves substitute. Despite the significant impact, referee Simon Hooper opted not to award a penalty – to the surprise of the majority.

Video Assistant Referee Michael Salisbury also agreed with the on-field decision, deciding not to intervene and ruling that his colleague had not made a ‘clear and obvious error’. But that has now been revealed to have been the wrong call.

Speaking after the match, O’Neil spoke of how he has already been approached by Moss, who delivered the bad news that his side should have been awarded a penalty. He explained that he was told it was a ‘clear and obvious error’ and that it was ‘blatant’, to rub salt into the wounds of the Wolves manager.

He also told Sky Sports: “I thought live that it was (a penalty), I thought it looked like the goalkeeper almost took our centre forward’s head off. When I watch it back it looks the same – really surprised.

“I think it’s a foul. If you go for the ball and clatter into an attacking player that hard I think it has to be a foul. But I’m not overly surprised that we didn’t get it. As he [the referee] jogged over towards us I thought we might be getting it but it turns out he booked me and not Onana for smashing into our player.”

In contrast, Erik ten Hag felt that the correct decision was made on the night. The United boss said: “The VAR looked and decided not to give it. We were pleased with that. It’s about the referee and the VAR and I think the two players from Wolves come together and Andre didn’t interfere with the actions from both of them. First was the touch on the ball from.”

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