Manchester United topped Aston Villa 1-0 at Old Trafford in FA Cup action, but the Red Devils can consider themselves lucky for multiple reasons.
Steven Gerrard's Aston Villa side came into a hostile environment and performed admirably, putting United under pressure throughout the match and coming close to scoring on multiple occasions, including a pair of disallowed goals. One of those was ruled out on VAR, and it had Villa fans furious.
Ultimately, the decision was decisive as United hung on for dear life to survive, advancing to the fourth round of the FA Cup with the victory. Aston Villa departs the competition in just the third round, a disappointing result for Gerrard & Co. who looked more than up for the game.
Why was the Danny Ings goal disallowed?
In the 54th minute, Danny Ings had the ball in the back of the net on a set piece and Aston Villa appeared to have scored the 1-1 equalizer.
The VAR checked the goal for a potential offside on Ollie Watkins who appeared to flick the ball to Ings before the goal, as Watkins appeared to be offside. VAR initially cleared the goal to stand, determining that Watkins did not take a touch, but the check didn't end there.
VAR official Darren England noticed that the man marking Ings, Edinson Cavani, was very clearly blocked off by Aston Villa's Jacob Ramsey on what was a well-executed pick play. After a very lengthy review, referee Michael Oliver had a long chat with both captains before signaling offside to the audience both on-site and watching at home. That signal was confusing, as it initially appeared that offside had been ruled out. But the offside was called on Jacob Ramsey.
In what was ultimately the correct call, Ramsey was in an offside position when the ball was delivered, and then affected the play with his block of Cavani. Whether the play was a foul or not, Ramsey was involved in the passsage and therefore his offside positioning triggered the flag.
Villa goal was disallowed cos Jacob Ramsey was offside when the cross came in, and then challenged an opponent (Edinson Cavani).
Play restarted with an indirect free-kick for the offside offence.
✅Jacob Ramsey is standing in an offside position
✅He interferes with the movement of Edinson Cavani (steps to the right into his path, too)
✅Impacts on the ability of the Cavani to challenge for the ball with the player who created the goal pic.twitter.com/DDRmupiHbo
Reaction to the VAR decision
More than anger, there was an overwhelming feeling of confusion around both fans in attendance at Old Trafford and those watching around the world.
Most people thought the decision was due to a foul committed by Ramsey in blocking off Cavani, and that had people opinionated on both sides of the proverbial fence.
Worst VAR intervention of the season. What on earth is going on?— Philippe Auclair (@PhilippeAuclair) January 10, 2022
Lengthy delay has infuriated Villa fans. Nobody in stadium sure why goal ruled out.
Those of us with screens can see the question was about Watkins flick to Ings.
But in end seems Ramsey blocking Cavani (having been offside) is reason. Right call on that basis. #MUFC
Goal ruled out after an age for a VAR check for something VAR wasn't checking for originally— Kieran Canning (@KieranCanning) January 10, 2022
Was that for the foul or the offside?— Brian Dunseth (@BrianDunseth) January 10, 2022
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