Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has given his verdict on three controversial incidents in Manchester United’s win at Burnley.
The result lifted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘s men to the top of the table, three points clear of Liverpool ahead of their trip to Anfield this weekend.
It was a tight contest at Burnley, with several key talking points emerging during the 90 minutes.
First, Burnley’s Robbie Brady was booked by referee Kevin Friend for bringing down Edinson Cavani on the edge of the box.
However, after a lengthy VAR (video assistant referee) review, it was ruled that Luke Shaw had fouled Johann Berg Gudmundsson in the build-up.
Shaw was ultimately penalised and received a yellow card, so Brady’s punishment was rescinded.
As part of Sky Sports’ Ref Watch feature, Gallagher felt Brady’s offence actually warranted a red card but as the decision to book Shaw was deemed correct, that was rendered immaterial.
“I think it’s a foul (by Shaw) – so I think the referee should stop the game there – and it’s a yellow card as well,” said Gallagher.
“I think the Brady challenge is a DOGSO offence – it is denying a goalscoring opportunity – and is a red card.
“What I would say is, Stuart Attwell – the VAR – has done the referee a marvellous service. The procedure was good, followed correctly, and I think they’ve come to the correct outcome.
“It took a long time, but I think it’s a red card offence, because Ben Mee will never get back to cover. Because that is deemed a red card offence, they have to go back and look at the attacking phase, and whether there is an error, and they had to revert back to the foul by Shaw. It was a very, very unusual incident.
“We talk a lot about time, and people say: ‘Why don’t they take longer to get the correct decision’ and they have here.”
The next big decision saw Harry Maguire have a goal disallowed for a foul on Burnley defender Erik Pieters as he rose to power a header into the net.
Gallagher believes the goal should have been allowed to stand.
He said: “I think another day, another ref, that would be a goal. If you’re chalking this off, how many of Alan Shearer’s goals are you chalking off?
“I thought it was good strength. For me, it’s a goal. If I was refereeing that, I wouldn’t have given a foul. Would you give a penalty if the defender made that challenge on a forward? The answer is no.”
Finally, Burnley had a late penalty appeal turned down after the ball appeared to strike the arm of Maguire in a crowded area.
On this occasion, Gallagher believes the correct decision was made.
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Manchester United secured a vital 1-0 victory over Burnley on Tuesday night to go top of the Premier League.
Paul Pogba scored the decisive goal in a hard-fought contest at Turf Moor, meaning United are now three points clear of Liverpool — who they face this weekend at Anfield.
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“I think this would have been very harsh to give a penalty,” he said.
“There’s no doubt the ball strikes his arm, but where he is, through the crowd of players, his arms are up, but they are tucked into his body.
“I think the VAR is right to stay away here. The referee’s judgement is no deliberate handball, and I’d go with that.”