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10 minutes of madness: Controversial ref under fire after Man Utd penalty drama

Just another afternoon at Old Trafford.
Just another afternoon at Old Trafford.

First West Bromwich Albion were awarded a penalty, only to have it overturned by the VAR.

Manchester United then earned a spot kick of their own but Bruno Fernardes’ first attempt was saved.

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Mourinho's magic touch!

Mourinho's magic touch!

0:57

That’s right - his first attempt.

A re-take was awarded shortly after and Fernandes nailed that one to hand the Red Devils an early lead, one that proved decisive in a tense 1-0 win.

So how did this penalty and VAR drama come to be?

Well, it all starts with a referee who had been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

David Coote was supposed to officiate the game between reigning champions Liverpool and Leicester but was pulled from the match.

Instead he was appointed Video Assistant Referee (VAR) but he was later removed from that role too.

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VAR chalks off City equaliser

VAR chalks off City equaliser

0:46

It comes after Liverpool fans fumed at Coote for his inaction after the tackle from Jordan Pickford which ended Virgil van Dijk’s season.

He had the whistle for United’s clash with West Brom though and caused controversy again early.

Coote pointed to the spot after Bruno Fernandes was ruled to have fouled Conor Gallagher.

VAR asked Coote to review the decision but he ruled there was no contact and changed his mind in a decision that confused some.

The Premier League's ability to have carbon copy VAR decisions on the same day/weekend is absolutely incredible.

And like the Aston Villa decision, this isn't a clear and obvious error and the referee's decision to give the penalty should have stood. #MUNWBA

— Dale Johnson (@DaleJohnsonESPN) November 21, 2020

As soon as the referee went over to the screen you got a horrible sense of what was about to happen, having seen the late Villa penalty ruled out earlier. Gallagher made the most of the contact, but he was fouled. Crazy. #WBA

— Steve Madeley (@SteveMadeley78) November 21, 2020

“Whatever it is David Coote has seen to be confident enough to think his decision was definitely wrong, or what VAR official Peter Banks has seen to recommend he review it, would be interesting for the rest of us to hear,” Sky Sports’ Ron Walker said.

“Coote was the man who was on VAR when Cesar Azpilicueta stamped on Giovani Lo Celso last season, and when Jordan Pickford injured Virgil Van Dijk a few weeks ago - it probably won’t be the last he’s heard of the latest mystifying decision to add to the list.”

Making matters worse for West Brom, United earned a penalty five minutes later after Darnell Furlong was pinged for a handball.

Spurs keep City scoreless

Spurs keep City scoreless

1:29

VAR had a look at that one as well but the decision stood.

Fernandes stepped up to the spot and missed after a great stop from Sam Johnstone.

The moment of relief was brief for the visitors though as a retake was awarded with the VAR ruling Johnstone was off his line when the kick was taken.

Fernandes aced this penalty though to bring an end to an insane 10 minutes of football after an underwhelming first half.

47' Bruno Fernades gives away a penalty, overturned by VAR.

53’ Man United awarded a penalty, Bruno Fernandes misses.

56' Man United ordered to retake, Bruno Fernandes scores. pic.twitter.com/t0xKouqnVF

— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 21, 2020
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