Man United moved three points clear at the top of the Premier League table following their 1-0 win against Burnley away at Turf Moor on Tuesday night. Paul Pogba's well-struck volley with 20 minutes remaining in the game ensured that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's will head into their clash against Liverpool as leaders of the pack. However, despite the result, the United faithful were fuming at some controversial VAR decisions in the first half of the game, including a Harry Maguire goal which was ruled out due to a foul against the Englishman.
In the 26th minute of the game, Man United left-back Luke Shaw tackled Johann Berg Gudmundsson and United launched a quick attack at the other end. The visitors had a potential goal-scoring opportunity for Edinson Cavani prevented when the ball struck Robbie Brady on the hand outside the Clarets’ box. Brady also fouled the Uruguayan in the process and United were awarded a free-kick.
Brady received a yellow card for his foul but VAR then began to analyse whether the Irishman should’ve, in fact, been sent off for denying United a goalscoring opportunity. Upon closer inspection, their attention was drawn to Shaw's tackle on Gudmundsson earlier in the same phase of play, which looked rather nasty in slow motion.
Although Shaw appeared to get a piece of the ball he caught Gudmundsson quite high on the shin with his studs in his follow-through. Referee Friend was looking at potential red cards for both Brady and Shaw in a review which ended up taking four minutes. At the end of the drama, the yellow card for Brady was revoked due to Shaw's earlier challenge, which earned him a yellow card and Burnley were then awarded a free-kick.
In the 36th minute, Man United captain Harry Maguire saw his towering header ruled out for a foul on Erik Pieters. Maguire found the net with Shaw's cross and raced away to celebrate but Friend ruled out the centre-back's goal for a debatable foul on Burnely's Erik Peters. Although the decision seemed a bit soft, VAR decided to stick with the on-field call.
Half time at Turf Moor. Harry Maguire has a perfectly good goal ruled out by the referee Kevin Friend who has had a brilliant half for Burnley pic.twitter.com/W2ZsZLiJ0I— Man Utd: ThroughTheLens (@ManUnitedLens) January 12, 2021
United fans took to social media to voice their displeasure. On Twitter, one wrote, "Maguire goal disallowed because he can jump higher." Another added, "The game has gone soft. VAR is ruining the sport".Meanwhile, a third fan claimed: "Absolutely nothing wrong with that Maguire header. How was that not given?"
I’m still baffled as to why that perfectly good goal has been ruled out. If Harry Maguire heads the ball out like that in the opposite box, then would Burnley be given a penalty? No, they wouldn’t. Sorry but if that’s a foul then football is finito.— Ryan. 🔴 (@Vintage_Utd) January 12, 2021