Just like countless other football enthusiasts that watched the FA Cup third-round game between Manchester United and Aston Villa on Monday, January 10, the manager of Aston Villa, Steven Gerrard was stunned that it took the VAR 3 minutes 32 seconds to disallow Danny Ings’ goal.
The FA Cup third-round game took place at Old Trafford and was expected to be an open game based on the current form of both teams. However, Manchester United that were without Cristiano Ronaldo, took the lead in the 8th minute via Scott McTominay’s header.
Afterward, Manchester United were expected to score more goals but could not take advantage of the opportunities they had in the first half. On the other hand, Aston Villa had a couple of opportunities to get back into the game but were not clinical enough.
However, in the second half, coach Steven Gerrard and his boys were able to come up with a plan to break Manchester United’s defense. The plan paid off in the 49th-minute mark when Danny Ings poked the ball beyond United’s goalkeeper David De Gea.
Unfortunately for coach Steven Gerrard, it was announced that there would be a VAR check on the goal. Afterward, VAR Darren England urged the on-field referee Michael Oliver to review the goal via the pitchside monitor.
Both the VAR and the on-field referee spent over three minutes trying to confirm that Aston Villa’s Jacob Ramsey did not block Man United’s Edinson Cavani in the build-up to Ings’ goal. After the long wait, the two referees confirmed that there was an interference in the build-up and also an offside. Hence, the goal was canceled.
After the goal, both teams were not able to score despite a couple of efforts from both ends. Hence, the game ended 1-0 in favor of Manchester United. It also ended coach Steven Gerrard’s desire to push Aston Villa farther in the competition.
After the game, coach Gerrard questioned why it has to take the VAR and the on-field referee so long to decide whether or not to cancel the goal.
“How long have you got? The officials took three and a half minutes to settle that one. They have looked at two or three things in it”, Steven Gerrard said.
“When VAR is there and they make a decision you have to accept it. There is nothing you can do to change it. The easy way out is to blame luck and the officials, we won’t do that.
“It’s very tough. We are out of the FA Cup and coming into this job I saw this competition as an opportunity to have a good run in it.
“The lads gave a lot in terms of performance but we need to learn and close the gap from a performance that was nearly good enough. We dominated for large parts but we were not ruthless enough.
“I’ve seen enough tonight in terms of the performance to know that I can get to where I want to get to but we need to learn and learn quickly. We need to be more ruthless moving forward, defending crosses we need to be tighter.
“We cannot be having people with free headers in our six-yard box. It is quite clear what we need to iron out and we will do it in the short term.”
On the other hand, the Manchester United coach was happy that his team was able to bounce from the 1-0 defeat the team suffered at the hands of Wolves days before the FA Cup third-round game.
“I think we showed a reaction after the Wolves game, that is what everyone expected from us,” coach Ralf Rangnick told BBC Sport.
“We knew it would be very difficult against Villa. In the first half, I thought we did well. It could have been 3-2 or 4-3 to us at half-time.
“In the second half, we were on the counter-attack and we could have made more of those situations. We took the wrong decisions at times but when we changed to a diamond in midfield we had more control.
“In the last 20 minutes, we had more control. We fought well as a team together when it was important. In the end, it was a good win. That was our goal, to proceed to the next round.”
Steven Gerrard has visited Old Trafford 18 times as a player and a coach:— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 10, 2022
✅ 5 wins
❌ 13 defeats
Scott sinks Stevie. 👋👋 pic.twitter.com/1lpP24EnKL