Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s unbeaten run as Manchester United manager came to an end yesterday as the Red Devils suffered a 2-0 defeat to French giants, Paris Saint-Germain. However, it was poor officiating that made the headlines. Referee Daniele Orsato has been subject to much abuse from United fans following the full-time whistle.
Champions League Tie Shows The Need for More Active VAR Essential
A Series of Poor Decisions
Orsato set the tone for the game in the first half hour by dishing out yellow cards as if they were going out of fashion. However, as the game progressed and tensions rose, the Italian failed to maintain his consistency. Giving yellow cards for soft tackles is justified only if the same standards are maintained throughout the game.
Presnel Kimpembe was treading on thin ice after his booking in the 11th minute. However, a series of rash challenges that followed went unnoticed by the referee. Kimpembe’s failure to keep disciplined was enough to have him sent off two-fold, and his opening goal in the second half greatly angered United fans.
As part of a goal celebration, former United player Angel Di Maria was seen using profane language towards the home fans. However, once again, this went under the referee’s radar.
Whilst VAR was active for this game, it was not referred to at all, as many of the decisions did not meet its criteria. One may believe that it is only goals and red cards that can influence the direction of the game, however, in this situation, we saw otherwise. In order to create a fair contest between two sides, VAR must be used at the pitch side referee’s convenience.
United’s misery was compounded at the end of the game as star man Paul Pogba was sent off for a soft challenge on Dani Alves. Trying to execute his standard trick of shielding the ball with his body, Alves forced himself into Pogba, which led to the Frenchmen’s sending off. Again, this has been examined further post game, and there are clear arguments to show that Pogba’s offence did not warrant a second yellow card, especially after seeing the nature of challenges that were not booked.
With more professional refereeing, this tie could have been completely different. For fans, players and staff to enjoy a fair game, the inclusion of VAR on a more frequent level ought to be implemented.