VAR bail out Man United: Aston Villa’s FA Cup disallowed goal had angry fans and pundits

VAR bail out Man United: Aston Villa's FA Cup disallowed goal had angry fans and pundits

Manchester United dominated Aston Villa 1-0 at Old Trafford in the FA Cup, but the Red Devils can consider themselves lucky for several reasons.

Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa side entered a hostile environment and performed admirably, putting United under pressure throughout the game and brushing close to goal on several occasions, including a pair of disallowed goals. One of them was ruled out on VAR, and that infuriated Villa fans.

In the end, the decision was decisive as United clung to their life to survive, qualifying for the FA Cup fourth round with victory. Aston Villa left the competition only in the third round, a disappointing result for Gerrard & Co. who were more than match-ready.

MORE: Relive Man United’s victory over Aston Villa minute by minute

Why was Danny Ings’ goal disallowed?

In the 54th minute, Danny Ings had the ball in the net on a free kick and Aston Villa appeared to have scored the equalizer 1-1.

The VAR checked the goal for a potential offside on Ollie Watkins who appeared to return the ball to Ings before the goal, while Watkins appeared to be offside. VAR initially allowed the goal to stay, determining that Watkins hadn’t touched, but the control didn’t end there.

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VAR manager Darren England noticed Ings scoring man Edinson Cavani was very clearly blocked by Aston Villa’s Jacob Ramsey on what was a well-executed choice game. After a very long criticism, referee Michael Oliver spoke at length with the two captains before signaling the offside to the public on site and at home. This signal was confusing, as it initially looked like offside had been ruled out. But Jacob Ramsey was called offside.

In what was ultimately the correct call, Ramsey was in an offside position when the ball was delivered, then affected play with his Cavani block. Whether the play was a foul or not, Ramsey was involved in the pass and therefore his offside positioning triggered the flag.

Reaction to VAR decision

More than anger, there was an overwhelming sense of confusion around the fans at Old Trafford and those watching around the world.

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Most people believed the decision was due to Ramsey’s fault in blocking Cavani, and that people had opinions on both sides of the proverbial fence.

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