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Ole hits out at ref and Chelsea after 0-0 draw

Solskjaer hits out at referee and Chelsea after penalty controversy in 0-0 Stamford Bridge draw

March 1, 2021 By Ali M.
The Red Devils boss wasn't happy about the penalty decision in the first half, accusing the match officials of robbing his side of two points.

Man United traveled to Chelsea in Sunday's highly-anticipated Premier League showdown. With the EPL title at stake for one club, and a top-four finish at risk for the other, fans expected an explosive showdown between the Red Devils and the Blues.

Unfortunately, the exact opposite unfolded, with the two English giants playing out a drab goalless draw just like they did in their Old Trafford encounter back in October. However, while the 0-0 draw failed to entertain, there was one controversial moment that sparked a debate.

And yes, as always, it involved VAR. The visitors had an early shout for a penalty, with Callum Hudson-Odoi appearing to handle the ball inside the box 15 minutes after kick-off. Referee Stuart Attwell initially waved off the claims but was called to the side-pitch monitor to review the incident.

Replays showed the ball struck the Chelsea youngster in the hand but the official refused to award a spot-kick even after the review. The official explanation behind this decision was that Attwell deemed Hudson-Odoi had not moved his arm towards the ball but Luke Shaw offered a different version during a post-match interview.

The full-back claimed the referee explained to Man Utd captain Harry Maguire that he merely did not want to cause a stir by awarding the penalty, telling Sky Sports: "The ref even said to H[arry Maguire], if it's a pen it's going to cause a lot of talk after. So I don't know what happened there." 

Shaw wasn't the only Man Utd figure to vent his frustration with the failure to award a penalty as manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer echoed a similar sentiment. The Norwegian boss unequivocally stated that it was a spot-kick in his eyes, blaming VAR for robbing his side of the win.

"Yep, 100 per cent," Ole said, as per Manchester Evening News, when asked if the incident was a penalty. "Especially when they stop it and he walks across to watch it. Even from here you think it's a handball and it's our player that does it. But when you look at it from the video, it's taken two points from us."

Solskjaer was asked about Shaw's comments and while the Man Utd boss refused to comment on that, the manager did blame outside influence from the likes of Chelsea and their former coach Frank Lampard for building a narrative of favoritism from VAR for the Red Devils.

"I can't say, because that's not going to be good for him," Ole said when asked about Shaw's version of events. "Of course it is [concerning]. I don't want to cause controversy but that's not right, is it?

"It's all these outside influences, VAR talk from [Chelsea] about Harry - that's cheeky putting it on their website, that's influencing referees. You can read what they're saying about Harry Maguire, putting pressure on referees to give penalties against us.

"We've seen a manager, was it Frank [Lampard] that started it? There's loads of talk about us getting penalties when there is no doubt whatsoever.

"And now, today, we should have had a penalty. That's as clear as it is."

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