Ralf Rangnick questioned the refereeing and VAR over four key decisions during Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday. “We were at least unlucky with those three or four moments,” he said.
Did he have a point? Let’s take a look…
Cedric Soares’ handball
Jadon Sancho went on one of his trademark mazy runs and sent Cedric Soares back towards his own goal.
The Arsenal full-back lost his balance and stumbled to the ground before appearing to stop the ball with his hand.
Sancho appealed for what could have been a free-kick or a penalty, with the incident right on the edge of the penalty area.
However, referee Craig Pawson waved away the appeals, and there was no VAR intervention either.
Rangnick highlighted the incident after the game, saying: “There was another handball issue in the first half, Jadon Sancho was involved.”
Ronaldo’s disallowed strike
Manchester United had the ball in the back of the net in the 58th minute when Victor Lindelof flicked the ball into the path of Cristiano Ronaldo, who swept home from eight yards for what he thought was his second goal of the game.
Initially, he did look offside but VAR checked the incident, and on second viewing, it was a tighter call then everyone thought.
Ben White’s foot was very close to playing the Portugal international onside, but, after the lines had been drawn on the pictures, offside was given.
However, Rangnick also highlighted this decision in his post-match press conference, and the German was adamant Ronaldo was onside.
He said: “The second goal of Cristiano was not offside and you can even see it in that total perspective exactly in one line. I just saw it right now after the game and if this is the right picture, and I suppose they showed me the right picture, you could see it. It was clearly one line in one line.”
Was Elanga denied a penalty?
On what was proving to be a busy day for referee Pawson, Anthony Elanga got in behind Nuno Tavares, who found himself on the wrong side. The left-back got a bit too tight to Elanga, who went down in the penalty area, but the referee again waved away the United appeals and the VAR stayed with the on-field decision.
Again, Rangnick questioned the decision: “Anthony Elanga was arm-in-arm with [Tavares], the other player with him. At least, also questionable.”
Xhaka’s strike: Was Nketiah offside?
“Their third goal was clearly offside,” said an unhappy Rangnick after the game.
Granit Xhaka unleashed a strike from 25 yards with power and precision, and the ball flew past David de Gea and into the bottom corner to spark wild celebrations at the Emirates Stadium.
However, pictures show Eddie Nketiah was standing in an offside position, but was he blocking the Man Utd goalkeeper’s view? The goal stood, but, again, Rangnick was firm with his views.
He added: “I spoke to David de Gea after the game and he said to me he just couldn’t see the ball because Nketiah was in between Granit Xhaka and himself. They checked it but for whatever reason still gave the goal.”