Man Utd news: Every controversial Man Utd VAR decision this season

Cameron Smith
Andre Onana, Alejandro Garnacho, Man Utd, VAR, 2023/24

VAR has been an inherently controversial addition to the Premier League since it was introduced ahead of the 2019-20 season and Manchester United have been on the end of several dubious calls.

The Red Devils have seen decisions go for and against them since VAR was introduced and this season has been no different.

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Below, FootballTransfers runs through every controversial VAR decision involving Man Utd during the 2023-24 season.

READ MORE: Chelsea’s controversial VAR decisions this season


Man Utd 1-0 Wolves (14 August 2023): Andre Onana penalty

Andre Onana’s Man Utd debut went fairly well, but it shouldn’t have done. The ex-Inter Milan ‘keeper attempted to punch away a Pedro Neto cross in stoppage time, but he wiped out Wolves striker Sasa Kaladjzic instead, yet the incident was waved away by on-field referee Simon Hooper and VAR.

Jon Moss, the manager of Premier League referees, apologised to Wolves boss Gary O’Neil after the game and the PGMOL soon issued a statement acknowledging the error. Howard Webb even admitted that VAR should’ve recommended an on-field review.

Everton 0-3 Man Utd (14 August 2023): Anthony Martial penalty

Anthony Martial was initially cautioned for simulation, but after a VAR review, that yellow card was rescinded and Man Utd were awarded a penalty following Ashley Young’s challenge inside the penalty area.

Everton boss Sean Dyche expressed his anger on the touchline, however it was the right decision given the contact from Young. The controversial element came due to the fact Luca Koleosho was not awarded a penalty for a very similar challenge from Vladimir Coufal against West Ham, with VAR’s consistency questioned again.

READ MORE: Latest Man Utd transfer rumours

Man Utd 1-2 Fulham (24 February 2024): Harry Maguire red card

Harry Maguire escaped a red card in Man Utd’s loss to Fulham, with the England international going over the ball and catching the top of Sasa Lukic’s boot using his studs.

He was yellow carded, and VAR deemed it not enough for a red card, despite the violent nature of the challenge.

Nottingham Forest 0-1 Man Utd (28 February 2024): Casemiro goal

With the game heading for extra-time, Casemiro stepped up yet again for Man Utd and netted a late winner in the FA Cup against Nottingham Forest.

However, it almost didn’t stand because of Raphael Varane’s intervention from an offside position. The Frenchman impeded Nottingham Forest defender Felipe from a free-kick, with outrage sparking after Liverpool saw a goal ruled out for the same reason in the Carabao Cup final against Chelsea.

Forest star Morgan Gibbs-White even posted a photo on Instagram comparing the two incidents.

However, the goal stood after a lengthy VAR review, with Felipe not the man marking Casemiro and hence deemed to have not been blocked from getting to the ball by an offside player.


Arsenal 3-1 Man Utd (3 September 2023): Alejandro Garnacho offside goal

In the dying embers of Man Utd’s trip to the Emirates Stadium, Casemiro played Alejandro Garncho through on goal and the Argentine slotted home masterfully, before his joy was cut short.

The goal was ruled out for offside by VAR after countless replays, and Erik ten Hag was angered immensely by the choice of camera angle, with the Dutchman claiming that Garnacho was actually onside. The controversy was only added to by the fact it happened so late in the match.

Arsenal then managed to score two goals in stoppage time to claim all three points themselves.

— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 4, 2023

Fulham 0-1 Man Utd (4 November 2023): Scott McTominay offside goal

Scott McTominay was denied a goal against Fulham after Harry Maguire was adjudged to have impacted play from an offside position.

McTominay and Alejandro Garnacho, the assister, were both onside, but the goal was ruled out after a four-minute VAR check, with the officials deciding that Maguire interfered with Fulham’s Rodrigo Muniz from an offside position.

As a result, the goal was wiped out, to Ten Hag’s frustration.

READ MORE: Latest Man Utd transfer news

Nottingham Forest 0-1 Man Utd (28 February 2024): Felipe red card

Nottingham Forest defender Felipe escaped a red card in stoppage time against Man Utd, despite the fact his hand was placed around Bruno Fernandes’ neck.

The Brazilian was not penalised, to the anger of Man Utd fans, who pointed out that Casemiro was sent off for a very similar incident against Crystal Palace last season.

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