Referee Stuart Attwell declined to award a spot-kick after viewing the incident on the VAR monitor
The decision not to award Manchester United a penalty against Chelsea after Callum Hudson-Odoi handled in the area prompted a confused reaction from Red Devils defender Luke Shaw.
Blues star Hudson-Odoi touched the ball with his hand in the area while tussling with Mason Greenwood for possession during the first half.
After consulting with VAR, however, referee Stuart Attwell determined that the contact was not grounds for a penalty, to the chagrin of the visitors.
What was said?
Shaw was puzzled by the referee’s behaviour, claiming that a United player was privately told the kick should have been given.
“If it’s not going to be a penalty, l don’t think they needed to stop the game,” he said toSky Sportsafter the game.
“The ref even said to H [Harry Maguire] that if I say it is a pen then it is going to cause a lot of talk afterwards. H got told it was a penalty.
I don’t understand why the game is stopped. It’s confusing with VAR.
“I’m not going to moan about it because l don’t think either team did enough to win.”
Former United star Gary Neville said earlier on Sky Sports:”There’s no doubt two or three months ago that’s a penalty – and there’s no doubt the referee would have abided by the referral.
“But the referees are more bold and the handball laws are being changed in front of our eyes as the season goes along.
“I’m in agreement with the referee going to the monitor. But that was the first time I’ve seen players berating the referee when he was watching [the monitor]. Both sets of players were shouting at the referee when he was watching it.
“There’s no doubt earlier in the season that this would have been a penalty. Hudson-Odoi’s panic is the fact that his arm shouldn’t be there.”
And manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, speaking toBBC, claimed: “It was a penalty, 100% nailed on. If that’s a natural position for a hand to be in when the ball comes in then I must be blind.”
What does the handball law state?
The current regulations around handball deem that any deliberate touch with the hand or arm should be penalised, while accidental contact is also grounds for an infraction if “the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger” or “the hand/arm is above/beyond their shoulder level (unless the player deliberately plays the ball which then touches their hand/arm.”
There are several caveats to the law, however, which, if applicable, mean the player has not committed handball.
Cases where a handball occurs in contact directly from the player’s own head or body, or those of another player, or if the limb is kept close to the body or used to support the player during a fall without being extended have been deemed non-punishable and should not result in a free kick or, if in the penalty area, penalty being awarded.