OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER was left fuming with the linesman after one of THE worst offside decisions ever was overturned by VAR.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalised for Arsenal in the 1-1 draw at Manchester United after assistant referee Scott Ledger flagged – even though the striker was THREE YARDS onside.
Ref Kevin Friend initally ruled out the goal but overturned the decision following a review by the Video Assistant Referee.
Despite the correct call being made, Solskjaer was furious.
He said: “The flag being raised made an impact on the situation.
“Ashley Young holds his hand up. He looks straight at the linesman, maybe hesitates and could’ve got a block in which probably would have helped.”
Solskjaer also complained that VAR should have given them a penalty when Sead Kolasinac handled in the 55th minute.
He added: “There was a handball that we could have should have.
“Like loads of the penalty decisions if the referee doesn’t make it you don’t go back and have it.”
United goalkeeper David De Gea later confirmed his defence had been put off by the flag – while Ashley Young especially seemed to hold his run, jogging with his hand in the air rather than rushing to close Aubameyang down.
The Spanish goalkeeper said: “Of course [we were put off[, it’s easier if the linesman keeps the flag down but also we know VAR is behind it [the decision] and if it’s offside, it’s offside.”
He added: “It was a big mistake for us, we gave away an important goal and I think the game was well balanced – they had good chances and we did but the game was at Old Trafford so we have to win it.
“We keep learning, we have a young team and it’s time to keep looking forward.
“This is Manchester United, we play at Old Trafford and we have to win these games. We have a young team but the lads have to react and play better than they have been doing.
“We are a team and have to improve and we are working really hard to do it and we’re looking forward to the next game.”
Auba said: “I was sure I wasn’t offside and was surprised the ref whistled but just finished as usual.
“You can’t celebrate 100 per cent but I’m happy.”
In an extremely scrappy game, Scott McTominay had given United the lead with a thunderous strike just before half-time.
But Auba saved Arsenal a point after Man Utd defender Axel Tuanzebe gave the ball away.
The defender sent an errant pass straight to Gunners youngster Bukayo Saka, who impressed.
The 18-year-old played a perfect pass straight into the path of the Gunners hitman, with Auba racing through on goal and chipping over David De Gea to eqaulise.
Harry Maguire, stood directly in front of the assistant referee Scott Ledger, had played Auba well onside – with replays showing Aubameyang around three or four yards to the good.
But to the Arsenal striker’s surprise, the linesman instantly raised his flag.
Maguire had leapt forward and Aubameyang’s pace had put him quickly on goal.
But that is no excuse for just how bad the decision actually was.
After a mountain of criticism this season – especially regarding marginal offside decisions – the Video Assistant Referee checked this goal as referee Kevin Friend didn’t whistle and allowed play to continue.
It didn’t take long for VAR to overturn the shocking error – fitting for such a terrible game so low on quality – and give Arsenal their goal.
Arsenal and Chelsea legend Cesc Fabregas was one man to weigh in on the decision, questioning how the lino got that decision so wrong.
The World Cup winner wrote on Twitter: “How can he see an offside right in front of his eyes without anyone in front of him.”
Liverpool legened Jamie Carragher Tweeted: “VAR at its best!!!!!”
Ex-Manchester United striker Dion Dublin said: “I don’t know where the linesman got his decision from. Aubameyang was at least three yards onside.”
While former Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen wrote: “That’s why we have VAR. Imagine if that had been given offside. He was miles on – right in front of the linesman.”
Despite the goal being given, Arsenal fans were fuming with the call.
One said that the decision was an “absolute shambles”, while others called for Ledger “never” to officiate another Premier League game.
United have now failed to score more than one goal in 18 of their last 21 matches.
Solskjaer said: “How many times have we have been 1-0 up and not got the second goal? This is a steep learning curve for us and we’ll keep working hard and, with more experience, we’ll make the right decisions.
“We didn’t get out of the blocks quick enough at the start of the second half. It felt like Arsenal were the more proactive until they scored their goal.
“I felt we could get a goal at the end and we sent men forward. I’ve been in that situation as a player when you come off and think you could’ve got more out of a game, but we’ll learn from this.”