Howard Webb reveals how officials made blunder in not awarding Wolves a penalty at Old Trafford last month as referees’ chief explains VAR decisions on new Premier League show
- The decision for Wolves not to get a penalty at Man United has been explained
- Webb was joined Michael Owen for the 26-minute programme on Wednesday
- Listen to the latest episode of Mail Sport’s podcast It’s All Kicking Off
In a new directive for greater transparency on the big decisions across the Premier League, refereeing chief Howard Webb has revealed why Wolves were not awarded a penalty late in their defeat at Manchester United.
Webb was speaking on the PGMOL’s first Match Officials Mic’d Up show, joined by Michael Owen in the studio for the 26-minute programme.
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 swiftly contacted Wolves in the aftermath to apologise for Hooper’s mistake – which cost them a golden opportunity of a point at Old Trafford – and he has now expanded on exactly how Gary O’Neil’s side were failed by VAR that night.
‘We hear the VAR in this circumstance going through the checking phase and he’s describing what he’s seen,’ Webb said. ‘He starts to go down the road to recommending a review, but he overthinks it a little bit.
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‘Sometimes VAR can do that. They’re trying to identify what the game would expect and when he sees them come together, he knows that 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 jumps in at the Wolves player so it’s not two players coming together. It’s one going into another.’
In a wide-ranging discussion, which went beyond Wolves’ misfortune at Old Trafford to include debates around Kai Havertz’s overturned penalty this weekend against Manchester United; Anass Zaroury’s red card; John Egan’s handball penalty; Virgil van Dijk’s red card; and Nathan Ake’s goal v Fulham.
The show was produced via Premier League Productions and broadcast on both Sky Sports and TNT Sports.
While the process should give fans a clearer idea of a VAR’s decision making in the moment, the call on Onana remains a major frustration to Wolves fans.
In the sixth minute of added time at the end of the match Onana raced out for a cross from the right – but failed to get near it and instead hammers into Kalajdzic.
Micahel Owen joined Webb for the show, which will be broadcast on both Sky and TNT Sports
In his protests boss O’Neil was booked and Webb is determined to front up to errors, such as this one.
He added: ‘In the end we didn’t recommend a review…we should have done, we acknowledge that as an error, which is of course disappointing.
‘We think it’s important we acknowledge clear errors. When it’s clear like this one, we don’t want people to benchmark against this situation.
‘This was clearly wrong – if this happens the following week, we expect a penalty to be given. So, I think it’s only right we acknowledge errors when they happen, acknowledge that wasn’t correct; and we expect to see something different next time.’
Referee Hooper and VAR Michael Salisbury were both dropped following the mistake after failing to realise that United goalkeeper Onana had fouled Kalajdzic in the 1-0 loss.