How Manchester United benefitted from VAR blunder

The Reds beat Wolves 1-0 in their season opener with Raphael Varane&aposs header settling the contest. But Gary O&aposNeil&aposs side had the better of the game and felt they should have been given a chance to level in the closing stages when Andre Onana collided with Sasa Kalajdzic in stoppage time.

Referee Simon Hooper opted against giving a foul while VAR official Michael Salisbury upheld the decision. The audio between the pair was played as part of an episode of Match Officials Micd Up on Sky Sports on Tuesday, showing viewers some of the VAR decisions from the opening month of the season.

On the show, Webb said Hooper should have been sent to the screen and if he had been, a spot-kick would likely have been awarded.

“I think from the outset I want to say that should have led to an intervention by VAR which should have seen a video review being recommended and the referee should have gone to the screen,” said Webb. “I&aposm confident he would have seen the images we&aposve seen and awarded a penalty.

“We see the VAR going through the checking phase while the penalty is not awarded. He starts to go down the road of recommending a review, but then he sort of overthinks it a little bit.

“Sometimes VARs can do that. They&aposre trying to identify what the game would expect in terms of what is and what isn&apost a clear and obvious error. When he sees these two come together we know that sometimes that can happen and it&aposs not a foul.

“We acknowledged that as an error in the opening week which was of course disappointing. But we&aposll try going forward to ensure that type of error doesn&apost happen again.”

The audio between the officials was played during the programme, with Salisbury initially suggesting he was going to recommend a review before confirming the on-field decision.

Hooper: “No way, that&aposs a collision, we don&apost give those.”

Salisbury: “So Onana goes to challenge the ball…”

Hooper: “Goal kick.”

Salisbury: “Just delay. Delay, delay, checking possible penalty.

Hooper: “No worries mate.”

Salisbury: “You&aposll want to view this because I think Onana collides into it. He tries to go to the ball and he makes aerial contact with the Wolves player. It&aposs late and it&aposs clumsy, in my opinion. Dawson wins the header, but it&aposs late, very late in the aerial challenge. I think because the Wolves player doesn&apost head the ball, yeah, because Dawson heads it, therefore, it&aposs a normal collision as they&aposve both challenged the ball. Check complete.”

Hooper: “Check complete.”