There were quite a few talking points that came out of Aston Villa’s trip up to Old Trafford to face Manchester United last Saturday.
Although the hosts had a couple of chances, by far the best opportunities came our way and we arguably should’ve had the advantage long before Kortney Hause bulleted in his 88th minute header. With United receiving their obligated penalty, but spectacularly missing it, as he had his little post game meltdown, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was doing his best to put the blame for the defeat on Mike Dean and the officials.
Apparently Ollie Watkins was offside and interfering in play, so it was an absolute travesty that Dean had allowed it to stand unchallenged.
But was it?
Well, former referee Keith Hackett thought so.
“Solskjaer has a reasonable cause for complaint. Not on the question of offside but on the question of unfairly impeding the goalkeeper. He gets to a position where he’s standing in front of him and backing into the goalkeeper as the ball comes in. I think, generally, he has unfairly impeded De Gea. I think, on that one, a foul should have been awarded. It’s an interesting one and I didn’t pick up on it during the game. Aston Villa got away with one.”
But did we? Did we really Hackett, is that what the footage shows?
Not according to Dermot Gallagher.
“There are no defenders on the post, which is why Watkins is in an offside position. That isn’t an offence here in itself but is he going to impede the goalkeeper? If that ball comes across, the assistant will say, ‘100 per cent’. He’ll relay to Mike Dean that Watkins is in line with the goalkeeper and say, ‘I need you from your angle to tell me at what point he’s in front of the goalkeeper’. At that point, yes he’s impeding De Gea.”
However, the ball doesn’t come across De Gea, and as Gallagher rightly points out, De Gea in fact, shoves Ollie out of the way to give himself space as the ball is actually played (paying attention Mr Hackett?). Ollie doesn’t have a hold of him, but De Gea has his hand on Ollie’s shoulder.
“But it’s so interesting what happens in terms of what Dean sees and what De Gea does. I think De Gea, in some ways, becomes a victim of his own instinct. De Gea, because he wants to see the ball, pushes Watkins out of the way and creates a bit of space. When the ball is headed, Mike Dean knows he’s not in De Gea’s line of vision. Dean has used the information from his assistant to take the decision from his position and I can fully understand why the goal was given.”
Gallagher is even nice and includes some stills if anyone is interested and goes on to compare it to the Harvey Barnes incident for Leicester.
“For the first, Barnes is directly in view of the goalkeeper, and I think for the second, he made a movement towards the ball, which impacts the goalkeeper. That’s why I think they’re slightly different.”
Clear as mud – stop crying Ole.