Wolverhampton Wanderers manager Gary O’Neill says he has received an apology from PGMOL’s Jonathan Moss after his team were not awarded a penalty during Monday’s defeat by Manchester United.
Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana collided with Wolves striker Sasa Kalajdzic in second-half stoppage time when trying to claim a cross but was not penalized for the challenge.
The video assistant referee examined the incident but referee Simon Hooper did not order the observer to be consulted. O’Neill was then yellow-carded by Hooper for his protests.
The Wolverhampton boss said former Premier League referee Moss, now director of Group 1 Select at BGMOL, had admitted the decision was incorrect.
“I was told live that they didn’t think it was a clear and obvious foul, but after I had just spoken to Jonathan Moss – and fair play with him for coming out live – he apologized and said it was a flagrant penalty and should have been given,” O’Neill said.
“Sometimes I feel bad because he came out and was honest.
“I spent a lot of time with him today. I gave up most of the afternoon trying to make sense of the new guidelines and trying not to book myself into the first game with the new guidelines, which I failed at.
“Fair play to Jonathan because he said it was a clear and obvious foul, he can’t believe the referee on the pitch didn’t give it and he couldn’t believe the VAR didn’t intervene.”
Wolves received a number of apologies from PGMOL Chief Refereeing Officer Howard Webb last season and were notably seen not allowing an FA Cup third round win against Liverpool because VAR did not have the correct images to judge offside angle.
O’Neill had earlier told Sky Sports: “I thought it was a penalty. I thought the goalkeeper almost raised our striker’s head… When I watch him again it’s like he is. Really, really surprised.”
“I think it’s a foul. When you go to the ball and hit an attacking player that hard, I think it must be a foul. I’m not too surprised we didn’t quite get it, frankly.
“As he (Hopper) was running towards us, I thought maybe he’s going to the screen but it turns out he’s booking me and not Onana.”
On not telling Hooper to consult the screen, O’Neill added: “I understand that (stick to on-field decisions as much as possible) but I don’t fully accept it. I think the on-field referee is a really tough decision for them to make. So we can’t just leave it because they (VAR) said no.
“If we all think it’s a penalty and a lot of people who actually come in say they think it’s a penalty then (I’m) disappointed but we shouldn’t talk too much about it.”
Erik ten Hag admitted the decision not to award a penalty could be debated but in the end the right call was made.
“After the opponent touched the ball, he jumped in, so the referees were lucky we didn’t get a penalty,” the United manager told BBC Sport. “I guess you can discuss it but I guess there is no penalty.”
United secured a 1-0 win at Old Trafford thanks to a Raphael Varane header in the second half. The match was O’Neill’s first in charge of Wolves, having been appointed as successor to Julen Lopetegui just five days earlier.
United return to action on Saturday night when they travel to Tottenham, while Wolverhampton host Brighton at Molineux earlier in the day.
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(Photo: Simon Stacpoole/Offside via Getty Images)
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