Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher was mystified as to why Tomas Soucek was denied a penalty after being felled by Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka during the 2-1 defeat.
And like many West Ham supporters present inside the stadium and watching on TV, he was even further confounded when referee Martin Atkinson awarded the visitors a free kick instead.”It’s a foul,” Gallagher told Sky Sports. “My first reaction was they must have given offside.”When you see it sideways on, it’s offside. I think Wan-Bissaka has slid in to make the tackle and doesn’t realise he’s there.”He’s caught him – the on-field decision was foul by Soucek. The VAR has nowhere to go then because the referee has made that decision on the field.”That was a view supported by the BBC’s Alan Shearer, who told Match of the Day viewers, “watch here, Wan-Bissaka on Soucek. He absolutely wipes him out.”Manchester United were similar annoyed when Christiano Ronaldo was denied two penalty claims, although a recent rule change may explain why he was denied any spot kicks during the game despite hitting the deck twice while inside West Ham’s 18-yard box.Yet an article published by The Independent’s Miguel Delaney last month ahead of the new season revealed how “PGMOL and the Premier League had conducted a survey of VAR last season and it is going to lead to big changes.”‘Marginal’ offsides will go while players will no longer get rewarded for ‘streetwise’/’manufacturing’ fouls” – which was very much the case with at least one of Ronaldo’s penalty appeals yesterday.