Howard Webb reveals how officials erred in not awarding Wolves a penalty at Old Trafford last month as referee chief explains VAR decisions on new Premier League show
- Wolves’ decision not to get Man United penalty explained
- Webb joined Michael Owen for the 26-minute program on Wednesday
- Listen to the latest episode of the Mail Sport podcast Everything starts
In a new guideline for greater transparency on major Premier League decisions, refereeing chief Howard Webb has revealed why Wolves weren’t awarded a penalty at the end of their defeat at Manchester United.
Webb was talking about the first PGMOL message The match officials are on the microphone to show, joined by Michael Owen in the studio for the 26-minute program.
One of the most controversial decisions was Simon Hooper’s decision not to punish Man United goalkeeper Andre Onana for a reckless collision with Wolves’ Sasa Kalajdzic.
Webb quickly contacted Wolves afterwards to apologize for Hooper’s mistake – which cost them a golden opportunity to score a point at Old Trafford – and he has now explained exactly how Gary O’ side Neil failed against VAR that night.
“We’re hearing from the VAR in this circumstance going through the verification phase and he’s describing what he saw,” Webb said. “He’s starting to recommend a review, but he’s overthinking it a bit.
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“Sometimes VAR can do that. They try to identify what the game might expect and when he sees them coming together he knows it can happen and it’s not a foul.
“He sees it as a collision and two players coming together. The difference with this one is that Onana pounces on the Wolves player, so it’s not two players meeting.” It is one that enters the other.
In a wide-ranging discussion, which went beyond Wolves’ misfortune at Old Trafford to include discussions around Kai Havertz’s canceled penalty this weekend against Manchester United; Anass Zaroury’s red card; John Egan’s penalty for handball; Virgil van Dijk’s red card; and Nathan Ake’s goal against Fulham.
The show was produced via Premier League Productions and broadcast on Sky Sports and TNT Sports.
While the process should give fans a clearer picture of a VAR’s decision-making in the moment, the Onana call remains a major frustration for Wolves fans.
In the sixth minute of added time at the end of the match, Onana rushed in a cross from the right, but failed to get close and slammed into Kalajdzic.
Micahel Owen has joined Webb for the show, which will air on Sky and TNT Sports
During his protests, boss O’Neil has been given a warning, and Webb is determined to deal with mistakes, like this one.
He added: “At the end of the day, we didn’t recommend a review…we should have, we recognize that as a mistake, which of course is disappointing.
“We think it’s important to acknowledge obvious mistakes. When it’s as clear as this, we don’t want people to compare themselves to this situation.
“It was clearly wrong – if it happens the following week, we expect a penalty to be given. So I think it’s normal that we recognize mistakes when they happen, that we recognize that was wrong; and we expect to see something different next time.
Referee Hooper and VAR Michael Salisbury were both dropped on the error after failing to realize United goalkeeper Onana had fouled Kalajdzic in the 1-0 loss.