EPL

Solskjaer bemoans Watkins 'offside' and Man Utd wait on Maguire, Shaw

By Sports Desk September 25, 2021

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt inaction from the VAR cost Manchester United in their defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday.

United lost 1-0 at Old Trafford to Kortney Hause's header in the 88th minute, although Bruno Fernandes missed a stoppage-time penalty that would have sent the home side top.

Solskjaer's side were poor, with only four of their 28 attempts hitting the target – their most shots without scoring in a league game for five years (38 against Burnley in October 2016).

But the manager was not happy with the nature of Hause's winner at the other end.

Solskjaer highlighted Ollie Watkins' position close to David de Gea in an offside position and revealed a discussion with officials indicated the VAR was to blame.

"We started the game well, aggressive, good on transition, going forward quickly," he told MUTV. "The decision-making, execution in the last third wasn't the best, and that cost us today.

"And decision-making on VAR again cost us again.

"Unfortunately, I've got to say it: it's offside. The goal, as Hause is heading it, Watkins is actually touching David, he's impeding him.

"I can't see the consistency anywhere in this VAR decision-making.

"They've come out in the corridor, and I've asked them for an explanation. The linesman flagged it up with VAR and definitely VAR has gone wrong again."

It would not have mattered had Fernandes taken his chance, having scored 21 of his previous 22 penalties in a United shirt.

Solskjaer felt pressure built on the midfielder as Villa players surrounded him in the 93rd minute for what was United's fourth-latest Premier League spot-kick miss.

"I didn't like the way they crowded Bruno, the penalty spot, the referee, all that malarkey," he said.

"Bruno's very strong mentally normally and unfortunately today it just didn't go in."

United had already endured a difficult day prior to the late drama, with both Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire substituted due to injuries.

Asked about their status ahead of a big week, with Villarreal visiting in the Champions League, Solskjaer said: "I can't tell you, I don't know. We'll have to wait a couple of days and see how they are."

Related items

  • Pochettino unsure on severity of Neymar injury Pochettino unsure on severity of Neymar injury

    Mauricio Pochettino hopes that Neymar has not sustained a serious injury, though conceded the images he has seen of the incident do not look good.

    Neymar had to be taken off on a stretcher late on after suffering an ankle injury in Paris Saint-Germain's win over Saint-Etienne on Sunday, shortly after Angel Di Maria had made it 2-1 to the Ligue 1 leaders.

    Marquinhos then headed in his second goal of the game to round off a difficult 3-1 victory, though focus was on Neymar's injury in Pochettino's post-match media duties.

    Neymar was pictured leaving the ground on crutches and while hopeful the forward will make a swift recovery, Pochettino explained PSG must wait for a full diagnosis on Monday.

    "There is nothing more to say for the moment, it is the pain he felt in the leg with his ankle that turned. We will have the exams tomorrow and we will see," Pochettino told a news conference.

    Pochettino had previously told Amazon Prime: "We will have to see this tomorrow but from the images, I hope that it's not a big deal and that he will be back with the squad quickly. But the action is not good."

    Neymar subsequently posted an update to his official Instagram account.

    "Let's recover, unfortunately these setbacks are part of an athlete's life," he wrote. "Now that's what you have, lift your head and let's go. I'll come back better and stronger."

    Should Neymar face a lengthy absence, PSG can at least rest assured they can still field a star-studded front three, with Di Maria proving his worth against Saint-Etienne as he scored in successive league appearances for the first time since November 2019.

    PSG also, of course, have Lionel Messi, who provided all three assists in the victory – the third time in his career he has set up three goals in a single league match. 

    At the back, Sergio Ramos made his long-awaited bow, becoming PSG's oldest debutant since David Beckham in 2013.

    Denis Bouanga put Saint-Etienne ahead, meaning PSG came back to win after conceding the opening goal for the fifth time in Ligue 1 this season, already equalling their best tally for comeback victories in a full season, set four times before (2014-15, 2011-12, 2003-04, 1985-86).

  • Manchester City 2-1 West Ham: Gundogan and Fernandinho on target as Pep's men go back second Manchester City 2-1 West Ham: Gundogan and Fernandinho on target as Pep's men go back second

    Ilkay Gundogan and Fernandinho were on target as Manchester City moved back into second in the Premier League with a comfortable 2-1 home win over West Ham.

    The defending champions made light of the difficult wintry conditions at the Etihad Stadium, where the visitors have now won just once in 16 top-flight visits.

    Gundogan was on target in a first half where Riyad Mahrez had a strike ruled out, while the Hammers – who have now suffered back-to-back league defeats – were put to rest when Fernandinho netted late on with Manuel Lanzini's goal proving a mere consolation.

    Pep Guardiola's 10th top-flight win in 11 attempts against West Ham means City move level on points with leaders Chelsea, albeit that may prove brief as the Blues host Manchester United later on Sunday.

    Aymeric Laporte headed onto the right-hand post in the opening stages before Mahrez was adjudged to be offside from Raheem Sterling's pass after he had powered past Lukasz Fabianski.

    City broke the deadlock when Gundogan bundled Mahrez's low cross home, with Ben Johnson then required to clear Gabriel Jesus' effort off the line and Mahrez cannoning against the woodwork in a flurry of first-half chances.

    The hosts almost doubled their lead after the interval through Jesus, who saw another chipped attempt cleared off the line by Aaron Cresswell, while Sterling blasted wildly over after the hour mark.

    Jesus then teed up Fernandinho to slot into the bottom-left corner to make sure of the result with Bernardo Silva seeing another ruled out prior to Lanzini curling perfectly past Ederson to at least half the arrears for West Ham.

  • Milan 1-3 Sassuolo: Rossoneri rocked as Scamacca and Berardi punish Pioli's men Milan 1-3 Sassuolo: Rossoneri rocked as Scamacca and Berardi punish Pioli's men

    Domenico Berardi inflicted the final blow as Milan slipped up 3-1 against Sassuolo at San Siro, suffering back-to-back Serie A defeats for the first time since April.

    Alessio Romagnoli's powerful header had been Milan's reward for a strong start, but Gianluca Scamacca's excellent long-range strike and an own goal from the unlucky Simon Kjaer helped mid-table Sassuolo reach the interval with a lead.

    Berardi finished off Milan with a fine goal in the 66th minute, the Italy forward showing his class to outwit Romagnoli before beating Mike Maignan.

    A red card for captain Romagnoli for hauling down Gregoire Defrel with effectively a rugby tackle compounded a bad day for Milan, who began the day level on points with leaders Napoli.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.