Manchester United came back from a 2-0 deficit yesterday to beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 at Old Trafford.
After two close-range efforts from midfielders Christian Eriksen and Casemiro, the winning goal was scored from the penalty spot by united skipper, Bruno Fernandes.
The penalty, given for a foul on Marcus Rashford by Forest midfielder Danilo, was one of several decisions contested by the visitors’ manager, Steve Cooper, and owner Evangelos Marinakis.
According to The Telegraph, Marinakis watched the game “from his base in Athens and is understood to be furious with [referee Stuart] Attwell’s display.”
Attwell also sent off Forest defender Joe Worrall for bringing down Bruno Fernandes when he was through on goal.
Both decisions went to the VAR and both were upheld, but Forest feel hard done by.
“Forest’s concerns over the performance of Attwell are understood to stem from the official’s display in a Championship game against Bournemouth in the 2021/22 season when a penalty decision went against former forward Sam Surridge after an incorrect offside decision went against him,” reporter John Percy explains.
“Saturday’s game at Old Trafford was Attwell’s first Forest game since that match in May 2022.”
“I’m not going to talk too much about the decisions because I don’t want to get myself into trouble,” Cooper said after the game.
“I’m just biting my tongue, in terms of what I really feel.”
The Midlands club are now considering making a complaint to PGMOL – the match officials supervisory body – over today’s officiating.
In the case of the penalty, replays showed that Danilo’s knee clearly made contact with Rashford as pointed out by reporter James Ducker.
Rashford just so much more effective from the left. Wins the penalty surging past Danilo.
— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) August 26, 2023
The argument against the Worrall red card was that Willy Boly’s presence nearby meant that he was not the last man, however, by the rules of the game, the decision was correct.
The laws state that a straight red is awarded when the foul is “denying a goal or an obvious goal-scoring opportunity to an opponent whose overall movement is towards the offender’s goal by an offence punishable by a free kick,” something that was clearly the case as Boly was not in a position to intercept Fernandes.
(Source: The FA).
Whatever Forest decide to do, it seems unlikely that their complaints will be upheld and United will certainly feel they won the game fair and square regardless of their opposition’s protests.