Emile Smith Rowe awarded a bizarre goal to Arsenal at Manchester United, because David De Gea was injured

Arsenal star Emile Smith Rowe scores bizarre opener against Manchester United as he blasts home as David De Gea lies on the ground injured after Fred kicked his foot

  • Emile Smith Rowe put Arsenal in charge in unprecedented circumstances
  • Fred stood on David De Gea’s foot when an Arsenal corner was played
  • The ball fell to Emile Smith Rowe who hit De Gea who was on the ground
  • With help from VAR, the referee awarded the goal to Arsenal to make it 1-0
  • Manchester United players reacted furiously to the given goal


Emile Smith Rowe bizarrely gave Arsenal the lead against Manchester United after finding the back of the net just after David De Gea went down injured.

As an Arsenal corner came in, United midfielder Fred stood on the foot of his teammate who went down on the goal line just as the ball returned to Smith Rowe.

The England international struck from the edge of the penalty area and found the net with De Gea piled up on the ground.

Manchester United players left furious after controversial Arsenal goal

Goalkeeper David De Gea fell on a pile when teammate Fred stepped on his foot

Goalkeeper David De Gea fell on a pile when teammate Fred stepped on his foot

The ball then fell to Emile Smith Rowe from an Arsenal corner, which took him past an unlucky De Gea .  beat

The ball then fell to Emile Smith Rowe from an Arsenal corner, which took him past an unlucky De Gea . beat

There were several minutes of confusion as De Gea got back to his feet, with Amazon Prime commentator Ally McCoist saying the goal had to stand as there was nothing wrong with it.

In the end, referee Martin Atkinson, with help from VAR, signaled that the goal would stand, much to the frustration of United’s players.

United’s players gathered around the referee and protested their case.

Martin Atkinson awarded the goal after hearing the VAR to the frustration of United's players

Martin Atkinson awarded the goal after hearing the VAR to the frustration of United’s players

After the goal was awarded, McCoist said: “He has to score a goal, he can’t do anything else.

“It’s no use yelling at the referee, the fact is there was no foul, there was no offside, there was no foul.

‘Yes, the keeper was lying. Ideally, if he had spotted De Gea, he would blow his whistle and give Arsenal possession when the keeper was treated, but he never whistled.

Arsenal players celebrate after controversially taking charge at Old Trafford

Arsenal players celebrate after controversially taking charge at Old Trafford

‘Never seen anything like it. I understand the frustration of United’s players, but the referee can’t do anything.”

Replays of the incident showed Atkinson starting to whistle at his mouth, but stopped when the ball hit the back of the net.

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg told Amazon TV that because De Gea was injured by his own player and Atkinson hadn’t blown to stop the game before Smith-Rowe had fired his shot, the goal should be standing.

On social media, former players and fans agreed with the decision to award the goal to Arsenal.

Former striker Chris Sutton argued the United goalkeeper should have been braver.

He tweeted: ‘If De Gea was so badly injured, why is he still on the pitch? Could have been braver…’

Ex-England and Liverpool goalkeeper David James wrote: ‘Understandable why players are angry, although they probably don’t know what happened.’

More to follow…

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