Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told his Manchester United stars to “make a fuss” about referees’ decisions after his team were on the wrong end of two key decisions in a damaging defeat against Sheffield United.
United are second in the Premier League heading into Tuesday’s clash with Southampton after Saturday’s goalless draw at Arsenal followed the shock 2-1 loss to the lowly Blades.
That result ended United’s 13-match unbeaten league run, leaving Solskjaer frustrated by decisions that allowed Kean Bryan’s opener and ruled out Anthony Martial’s strike.
Billy Sharp pushed David De Gea as Bryan scored and Harry Maguire was adjudged to have fouled goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale before Martial found the net – decisions the United boss says he has had confirmation were wrong.
“I’ve got the delegate’s report through from the ref and the two decisions were wrong,” Solskjaer said. “They’ve admitted that their goal should have been disallowed and ours should have stood and that is a big, big momentum changer for us.”
The match delegate is a former player or manager who provides information into the overall reporting pot, which is different to the referee’s assessor or Professional Game Match Officials Limited making that admission.
Solskjaer says he has “no problem with human error” and understands “why the decisions were made” but believes his players may need to exert more pressure.
“Unfortunately they went against us and they were wrong,” he said. “That’s football for you but that’s maybe what VAR should have been in for. Maybe we should have made more of a fuss about it. We’re a bunch of nice lads.
“Maybe we should have really hung onto that or made them look at it before the game started again, so those are things that we have to learn from and use as energy and motivation. You’re not going to expect to get anything for free, that’s for sure.
“There has been a narrative for too long about decisions we’ve got for us and I can look at many decisions this season that we feel (were against us). Even the first league game, Victor (Lindelof), they agreed on that one. That wasn’t a penalty. But that doesn’t change where we are now. We just move on.”
Asked if players can make more of a fuss and force the VAR to have a look, Solskjaer said: “That’s the thing. The word here is ‘clear and obvious’.
“I don’t want my players to put too much... not too much but unfair pressure on the referee.”
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