The manager of Manchester United Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stressed that his club deserved a penalty in the 0-0 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, February 28. While the manager of Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel believes that the referee’s decision was perfect.
In the 15th minute of the Premier League match, Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi was suspected to have handled the ball in the penalty box but the referee, Stuart Atwell, called for a free-kick against Manchester United.
After his call, the Video Assistant Referee called the referee back to the incident to check for a possible handball offense against Chelsea in the penalty box. The referee went to the touchline side monitor to view the replay. He returned to the pitch and decided to stick with his earlier decision.
At the end of the game, the incident caused divided opinions among, players, pundits, and the coaches of Chelsea and Manchester United. Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who has not won against any big 6 clubs this season – Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, and Arsenal, was not a happy man that the referee didn’t give United the spot-kick.
When asked if he thought United should have been awarded a spot-kick, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “Yep, 100 percent. They’re shouting it’s handball for our player, but when you look at it on the video, it’s taken two points away from us.”
On the other hand, the manager of Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel stressed that it was a Manchester United player (Mason Greenwood) that first handled the ball in Chelsea’s penalty box, insisting that the referee did everything right.
He said: “How can it be an intervention? The player in red plays the ball with the hand, and then we’re checking for a penalty? Why does the referee have to see it?
“You watch it for one second on the iPad. Why does the referee need to see it? He did everything right, I don’t understand why he needs to check it. I’m glad it’s not a penalty, that would be even worse.”
The Premier League match which ended 0-0 at Stamford Bridge would have taken Chelsea to the 4th spot if they had won the match. But the goalless draw only helped to keep them on the 5th spot on the league table with 44 points in 26 games, a point below 4th placed West Ham United.
While a win in the game would have taken Manchester United closer to first-placed Manchester City. But the draw left them on the second spot with 50 points in 26 games. The gap between them and City has increased from 10 to 12 courtesy of the draw.
Though United were not excited about the goalless draw, the manager of Chelsea who has not suffered a defeat since he became the manager of the club in January 2021, believed the goalless draw was a good performance from his team.
After the game, Tuchel said the club has accepted the result and praised his defenders, saying Chelsea could become a difficult team to play against if they maintain their current form.
“We take what we got”, Tuchel said. “We have a good performance, defensive-wise, character-wise, and from mentality, I am absolutely happy against a team like Manchester United. You don’t get many chances. If you do, a half-chance must be enough.
“We’re not in that moment where we are clinical enough to win games like this. But with the effort and performance, absolutely no concerns. If we go on like this, we are a difficult team to play against.”