Manchester United won 3-2 against Nottingham Forest on Saturday afternoon after going 2-0 down in the opening four minutes of the game.
It was the quickest time in Premier League history that United had found themselves at a two-goal deficit in a game. But despite the terrible start to the game, Erik ten Hag’s men immediately took control afterward.
Ten Hag, however, was not fond of the visiting team’s tactics to slow the game down after going ahead early on – which ironically then provided them with 14 added minutes to attempt to equalise after United’s third goal.
“The rule is not right,” stated Ten Hag. “The team was delaying from the start and they were getting rewarded for it.”
And there were two other incidents which were simply perplexing in relation to the officiating on the day.
Firstly, Marcus Rashford was deemed to foul a Forest defender when in fact he instead collided with one of his own teammates. The foul was given against Rashford, who was then booked for kicking the ball away after his bemusement at the decision.
Following on from that, Andre Onana saw yellow for ‘time-wasting’ at a goal kick. The United goalkeeper was waiting for a second ball on the pitch to exit the field. Stuart Attwell was unaware and made himself look a fool.
The standard of the refereeing in the Premier League so far this season has been worrying, but then again it wasn’t much better beforehand either. United benefited from it against Wolves but then a clear penalty was missed in the loss to Tottenham Hotspur.
Despite the bad mistakes in the game, Ten Hag can be glad that the officials got two of the major decisions correct on the day. Bruno Fernandes was cynically fouled by the last man and he saw a red card, whilst Marcus Rashford was given a penalty after being clipped.
Ironically, it has been reported by The Telegraph that Forest are planning to lodge a formal complaint with PGMOL following the performance of the officials in the game – with it being said that they are “very angry” with the decision.
This comes shortly after PGMOL apologised to Wolves following the missed penalty in the United fixture. Ten Hag revealed that he did not receive such an apology when the clear handball was missed against Spurs.
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