Every VAR decision that has gone against Man Utd this season

Quick Reads
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo reacts after Liverpool score.

While Premier League officials are often accused of favouring big clubs, Manchester United won’t feel like that’s been the case in 2021-22.

United are currently struggling to secure Champions League qualification and VAR has been more of a hindrance than a help to them this season.

We’ve listed the six decisions that VAR awarded against United in the Premier League in 2021-22. Note: This only refers to incidents where VAR intervened so it does not include any controversial moments which were missed.

West Ham

After Said Benrahma and Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the first half, United’s game against West Ham in September looked set to end in a 1-1 draw.

But Jesse Lingard, who spent the second half of last season on loan at West Ham, came off the bench to score a brilliant goal in the 89th minute.

Further drama followed when Andriy Yarmolenko’s cross hit Luke Shaw’s outstretched arm in injury time. Referee Martin Atkinson awarded the penalty to West Ham after reviewing the incident on the pitchside monitor.

“Even though it’s from half a yard away and it’s clipped up, Luke probably makes himself bigger which is probably their reasoning for giving the penalty,” Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said after the game.

“It’s one of them: do they want the defenders to just have their arms behind the back? You can’t defend properly then, can you?”

But the decision didn’t have an impact on the final result as David de Gea saved Mark Noble’s penalty and United held on for the three points.


United had a day to forget when Liverpool visited Old Trafford in October.

Naby Keita gave Liverpool the lead inside the opening five minutes before Diogo Jota took advantage of some terrible defending to make it 2-0 eight minutes later.

Mohamed Salah then decided to steal the show and completed his hat-trick in the 50th minute, making it 5-0 to Jurgen Klopp’s side.

Ronaldo thought he’d scored a consolation goal in the 53rd minute when his curling effort found its way past Alisson, only for it to be chalked off for offside after a check from VAR.

Liverpool x2

During the first half of that defeat to Liverpool, Ronaldo was perhaps fortunate to escape a red card for kicking out at Curtis Jones while he was on the floor. 

But Paul Pogba – who replaced Mason Greenwood at half-time – didn’t get the same luck and was only on the pitch for 15 minutes.

The France international was initially shown a yellow card for his robust challenge on Naby Keita, who left the pitch on a stretcher as a result.

After reviewing the challenge on the pitchside monitor, referee Anthony Taylor upgraded it to a red card and Pogba could have no complaints.

“I think we all recognise that that is the tackle which has to go,” former United captain Gary Neville said on commentary. “This is as bad as it gets honestly. At the end of the day, we’ve all lost football matches in bad ways.

“It happens but it’s the nature of the performance. They’ve capitulated.”


United conceded one of the most bizarre Premier League goals of all time when Arsenal visited Old Trafford in December.

David de Gea lay in a heap on the floor following an Arsenal corner and Emile Smith Rowe then reacted quickly to fire the ball into the unguarded net.

Referee Martin Atkinson did not seem to award the goal initially but VAR instructed him to do so after checking the incident. 

Replays showed that it was United midfielder Fred who had accidentally stood on De Gea’s foot so no Arsenal player had committed a foul. 

United turned the game around and went on to win 3-2 but caretaker manager Michael Carrick still wasn’t happy with the decision.

“At least I don’t have to talk too much about the Arsenal goal because we could have been here all night,” Carrick said. “If it had been the winning goal it would have been a different conversation. Very strange.”


United thought they had taken an early lead against Burnley when Bruno Fernandes’ free-kick was headed home by Raphael Varane. 

But a VAR review showed that Harry Maguire was offside in the build-up and had stopped Jay Rodriguez from getting into the box to defend, forcing the officials to chalk it off.

“The point is Maguire was in an offside position but it occurs when he interferes with the opponent challenging for the ball,” former Premier League referee Peter Walton told BT Sport.

“Maguire does block the defender and that’s when the issue occurs. Offside.”

United did take the lead through Paul Pogba’s strike moments later but they had to settle for a point after Rodriquez netted an equaliser in the second half.

Manchester City

United were already losing 3-1 against Manchester City when VAR helped rub salt into their wounds.

After being picked out by Ilkay Gundogan in the 90th minute, Riyad Mahrez raced in behind before firing the ball into the United net.

The goal was initially disallowed as the linesman put his flag up but replays showed that United left-back Alex Telles had just kept Mahrez onside.

More Manchester United

Where are they now? Man Utd’s first 10 academy graduates under Fergie

Can you name Man Utd’s 15 most expensive transfers in history?

Remembering when Nani scored the strangest goal in PL history for Man Utd