Manchester United moaning about not getting penalties is a bit rich.
It made me laugh out loud when I heard coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tjank after the goalless draw with Chelsea on Saturday.
After his team’s toothless performance at Stamford Bridge, it was probably the best he could do to distract from the fact that his span did little to score from open play.
Go and look at the incident involving Blues winger Callum Hudson-Odoi and United counterpart Mason Greenwood again.
At first glance it doesn’t look like a penalty. No one is making a concerted appeal for an infringement from United.
But once VAR gets involved we get a closer look.
Sure the ball touches the hand of Hudson-Odoi.
However, it’s what happens before the contact that gets me stumped about United’s reaction about a penalty.
If you look at the replay, it’s actually Greenwood who moves his arm towards the ball and has lifted Hudson-Odoi’s hand into contact with the ball.
From the initial angle – from the back -– it even looks as if Greenwood knocks the ball onto Hudson-Odoi. So if the first contact is from the United player, how can it be a penalty?
Now that we can safely say it’s not a penalty, what should we make of Solskjaer’s tantrum?
United were awarded a Premier League record 14 spotkicks awarded last season.
This term, they have eight and are moaning that they aren’t getting enough.
And that, the Norwergian says, is down to rivals like Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp and Chelsea’s website writers influencing refs.
That the Red Devils got a volle 14 penalties last season, scoring 10 of them, means they got 15 percent of their goals of their 66 Prem total from the spot.
No matter what club you support, 14 free shots at goals in 38 matches is a moerse klomp.
But Ole is not willing to admit that. In fact, if you called him out about it, he’d say but that was last season.
I would ask him if lifting your opponent’s arm to lift the ball wouldn’t have been a penalty last season.
Then he’d have to hou his bek.
Either way you cut it, it’s not a penalty. And Ole can’t expect penalties like that to be given.
If the shoe was on the other foot and the ref and VAR gave the penalty to Chelsea, I wonder if he would have tjanked even louder.
Many pundits weighed into the penalty debate afterwards and some said that a penalty would have been harsh.
There looked like there was absolutely no intent from Hudson-Odoi to touch the ball.
I think it might even have been awarded at the start of the season, when they were given penalties away like Christmas cards, for enige ding.
Sanity prevailed on the part of VAR in this instance. But the next time we see a similar incident, it could go the other way.