Later News Sep 05

Manchester United fans gloat after ending Arsenal’s perfect start


What a turnaround it has been for Manchester United and their fans.

 

Barely a month ago, the Red Devils were the go-to joke of the English Premier League (EPL) following defeats to Brighton and Brentford. Today, however, United fans are beside themselves with joy after seeing their team beat league leaders Arsenal 3-1 at Old Trafford.

 

WATCH: Ten Hag speaks about 'high standards' at United

 

Having silently endured the taunts of rival fans for many years, United fans are now basking in the opportunity to do what they do best: mock, scorn, and belittle others, while trumpeting themselves as the best thing to happen to football since the invention of balls itself.

 

While their reaction might be construed as hyperbolic, no one can really blame United fans for thinking that the good times are back – after all, their victory over Arsenal also had all the hallmarks of a typical United win: sleek, counter-attacking football, poor finishing from the opposition, and of course, a huge helping hand from the match officials, as they controversially disallowed a Gabriel Martinelli goal in the 12th minute.

 

The Brazilian’s strike was ruled out after Lee Mason on VAR, as well as his childhood neighbour from Manchester, referee Paul Tierney, deemed that Martin Odegaard had fouled Christian Eriksen in the build-up to the goal.

 

But it was a decision that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta disagreed with, as he ranted about the officiating in the EPL.

 

WATCH: Arteta bemoans Arsenal's lack of discipline

 

“It's a lack of consistency. What is soft? Last week, they [Aston Villa] got a goal when there's a foul on Aaron (Ramsdale), but it's soft and it's not a foul,” Arteta fumed. “Then there's a penalty on Bukayo [Saka, by Tyrone Mings] but it's soft and not a penalty. Today this is a foul.

 

“There were some strong tackles and no yellow cards because the threshold is low because it's a big game. It's really difficult to accept.”

 

Odegaard also backed up his manager’s assertion that the disallowed goal should have stood, as he insisted: “In my opinion, it's never a foul. The referee sees it and plays play on.

 

“It's a soft challenge and for VAR to come in it has to be clear and obvious. That's been said a lot of times. On the camera, you can always make it look a little bit worse, but, for me, that was never a foul so it's frustrating.”

 

WATCH: Antonio Conte calls for an end to VAR in EPL

 

The VAR controversy at Old Trafford comes amidst a weekend in which the officiating standards in England have come under immense scrutiny, with Mason himself also involved in another debatable VAR decision on Saturday, when he ruled out Newcastle United’s goal against Crystal Palace.

 

But United fans won’t care one bit. Not especially with club legend Howard Webb set to step into the role as the head of the PGMOL at the end of the year, in what will be the best Christmas gift that they can hope to receive.

 

With the win, United remain fifth in the table on 12 points, just three behind current league leaders Arsenal. Ten Hag’s men will next take on Real Sociedad in the Europa League this Friday morning (SGT), before playing Crystal Palace on Sunday.

 

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