Tuesday, December 6

Man Utd outraged after Middlesbrough equalized despite Duncan Watmore’s clear handball…even AFTER VAR check


MANCHESTER UNITED were furious after Middlebrough equalized at Old Trafford, despite a blatant handball.

The ball clearly bounced off the hand of substitute Duncan Watmore as he controlled it in the penalty area.

Duncan Watmore was not penalized despite a flagrant handball

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Duncan Watmore was not penalized despite a flagrant handballCredit: Getty
Manchester United complained to referee Anthony Taylor but his complaints fell on deaf ears

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Manchester United complained to referee Anthony Taylor but his complaints fell on deaf earsCredit: Getty

However, Anthony Taylor did not blow his whistle.

And knowing that if he scored on his next touch the goal would be disallowed, the Middlesbrough striker lifted the ball over Dean Henderson but just wide.

Matt Crooks, like Watmore, a former United trainee, continued and hit the back post to make it 1-1 in their FA Cup fourth-round clash.

However, United players, staff and fans couldn’t believe the goal stood, especially after a VAR review.

Even the Boro bench looks puzzled, it is not ruled out.

But like Taylor on the pitch, VAR Stuart Attwell deemed the handball accidental, because the ball left the player’s body and landed on his arm.

And when Watmore didn’t score, the Championship side drew level, to the delight of the 9,443 traveling fans.

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The change in the wording of the rules of the game last summer meant that it could not be overturned.

The update, explained on the Premier League website, says: “If an attacking player’s accidental handball immediately precedes another player’s scoring, the goal will now be awarded, where last season it was likely to have been ruled out.” .

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“However, a player will still be penalized if he commits an accidental handball immediately before scoring himself.”

The apoplectic Cristiano Ronaldo led the angry protests with his United teammates as they surrounded referee Taylor.

But his complaints came to nothing and the goal was given.

United legend Rio Ferdinand and rested goalkeeper David De Gea had none of it.

Ferdinand tweeted: “What’s the point of VAR…” followed by a poop emoji.

De Gea shared the post and simply added a surprised emoji.

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And Alex Bruce had none of that.

The former United youth team defender and Hull City stalwart raged on BBC Radio: “You can clearly see Duncan Watmore, the ball came up and hit his hand when he set it up.

“He hits him in the hand, oh my God, he scored the goal. I dont believe it.

“You can clearly see when the ball enters the box!”

Lee Dixon added on ITV: “Watmore’s touch wasn’t the best and he controls it with his hand.

“It has to be given as a hand. If that were a defender it would be a penalty.”

Gary Lineker added on Twitter: “The correct decision given the absurdity of the law. Clearly accidental, but had he scored himself it would have been disallowed.”

“The law of handball used to be fine. They have made it ridiculous.”

Watmore lifted the ball over Dean Henderson as Harry Maguire appealed for the handball

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Watmore lifted the ball over Dean Henderson as Harry Maguire appealed for the handballCredit: Getty
Matt Crooks continued and snuck into the far post with an empty goal

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Matt Crooks continued and snuck into the far post with an empty goalCredit: AP
Crooks celebrated the goal in front of 9,443 away fans at Old Trafford

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Crooks celebrated the goal in front of 9,443 away fans at Old TraffordCredit: Getty




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