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VARchester United? Pundits React To Manchester United’s Win Over Chelsea

Valentine Chinyem

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Reactions have continued to trail the English Premier League match between Chelsea Football Club and Manchester United, in what many believe the London side were robbed.

Managed by long term rivals, Frank Lampard and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, who played for Chelsea and Manchester United respectively, before assuming the role of managers at both clubs.

Both managers previously met each other as players, however, this season saw them renew their rivalry as managers.

Manchester United at the beginning of the season in August, won Chesea 4 – 0, while they also edged them 2-1 during their Leave Cup encounter in October, 2019.

Yesterday’s match put both teams on fair ground, but it was the Red Devils who took it all, as they rout Chelsea 2-0 on own turf.

No thanks to the Video Assistant Referee, VAR, as Chelsea had two goals cancelled and what would have been a red card against Man U’s captain, Harry Maguire was overlooked by the referee through the help of VAR.

Despite Tottenham’s Son Heung-min getting sent for a seemingly identical incident earlier in the season, VAR in this case determined that Maguire’s actions against Michy Batshuayi didn’t rise to the level of “violent conduct.”

What went wrong?

Solksjaer won both encounters against the Blues convincingly, but seemed to have gotten lucky this time through the help of the VAR, as pundits later coined the club’s name to ‘VARchester’ United.

Chelsea were the promising side at the beginning of the match as they mounted pressure on their visitors.

It was the Red Devils who broke the deadlock when wingback Aaron Wan-Bissaka worked his way past Willian, before sending a cross which was met by Martial, whose header beat goalee Willy Caballero, to give Man U the lead.

The second goal came through a header by Harry Maguire.

Chelsea however, had its own goals ruled out by VAR, in what could have been their equalizer.

VAR had determined that Cesar Azpilicueta pushed down Brandon Williams, before Kurt Zouma’s header; meanwhile, Azpilicueta was in turn pushed by United’s Fred, which saw their goal cancelled.

The Blues would have another goal cancelled 10 minutes later, when second-half substitute Olivier Giroud was detetmined to offside by VAR.

A disappointed Frank Lampard in his post match comments, said, “Harry Maguire should have been sent off, that’s clear, and that obviously changes the game. Azpilicueta gets shoved so the goal should stand. I don’t get why they aren’t looking at the [pitchside] monitor. It should be used.”

Marguire seemed to agree with the fact that the stud of his boot caught the thigh of Batshuayi, but denied any wrong doing, saying it was his natural reaction.

He said, “I knew I caught him, but I felt like he was gonna fall on me. My natural reaction was to straighten my leg and, if he was to fall on me, try and hold him up. Obviously I’ve got studs on my boots and it probably looks worse than it was on TV, but it was my natural reaction. It wasn’t a kick out, no intent.

“I did catch him, but I think it’s the right decision in the end.

“I didn’t have any intent to hurt him or kick him. I’’ve got studs on the end of my boots, so it makes it a little bit worse, but I apologised to him, and it’s nice that the referee has seen sense.”

Manchester United are not 3-points behind Chelsea, giving them hope of Champions League football next season.

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