Former Premier League referee
Ref Watch: Harry Maguire needed more punishment after Michy Batshuayi challenge
Kurt Zouma and Olivier Giroud disallowed goals for Chelsea also analysed
Last Updated: 18/02/20 11:54pm
VAR was once again the centre of attention in Manchester United's 2-0 win against Chelsea on Monday Night Football and Dermot Gallagher has explained all in a special edition of Ref Watch.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side edged to within three points of Chelsea in fourth with the victory, but the Blues had two goals ruled out by VAR among a host of contentious decisions.
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Speaking to Football Centre on Tuesday morning, former Premier League official Gallagher was on hand to give the refereeing point of view on the incidents...
INCIDENT: While chasing down a pass with Michy Batshuayi, Harry Maguire fell to the floor and as he did, caught the Chelsea striker with both feet upturned. The home bench was instantly off their seats, calling for a red card, but a VAR review did not agree and Maguire stayed on the field.
After the game, the Manchester United captain said: "I can see why [the incident looked bad], I know I caught him but I thought he was going to fall on me. My natural reaction was to straighten my leg, obviously I've got studs on my boots and it probably looks worse than it was, on TV, but it was just my natural reaction.
"It wasn't a kick-out, there was no intent, and if he fell to hold him up. I knew I caught him, I knew at the time, but I thought it was the right decision. It was definitely [worrying] during the review, but I never meant to hurt or kick him."
DERMOT'S VERDICT: Incorrect decision.
DERMOT SAYS: "[I'm surprised] he escapes any colour card. What I would say is that I'm very surprised he didn't face any punishment. Anthony [Taylor] didn't think it was a red card because he's seen it from another angle.
"It goes to VAR, and the VAR [Chris Kavanagh] has to decide if it was a red card and he thinks no. The problem then is that he cannot recommend a yellow card, so it goes back to free kick only. That's where Anthony was snookered a bit.
"My instant reaction was that it was a red card. The trouble is, when you watch things over and over again, you spot little bits of detail. Michy Batshuayi slips, Harry Maguire goes to ground and then his legs go up.
"He says it's to protect him from Batshuayi coming into him. They're very close, and VAR decided that the kick out was more petulant than violent. He said it didn't have the impact so therefore he couldn't award a red card.
"At that point, yellow card is ruled out. What I would say is, when you see that tackle, there has to be more punishment than a free kick only."
INCIDENT: Kurt Zouma thought he had pulled a goal back for Chelsea early in the second half, but after a check from VAR, it was disallowed after Cesar Azpilicueta pushed Brandon Williams over inside the area. However, it did look as if Azpilicueta had done so after an initial push on him from Fred, but the goal was chalked off.
DERMOT'S VERDICT: Correct decision.
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DERMOT SAYS: "I think that was the right decision. If you look at it, Fred does give Azpilicueta a little nudge. But when Azpilicueta goes forward, and when his feet are planted, with two hands he shoves him in the back and [Brandon] Williams goes to ground.
"When you look at it as VAR, you ask two questions: 'Is it a clear and obvious foul for Azpilicueta?' Yes. So you'd give that foul. When you go backwards, you would also ask 'Is it a foul by Fred to give a penalty?' Most certainly not.
"It's a little knock that you see in the penalty area all the time. If you saw that in isolation, you would never see it given."
INCIDENT: In one of the easier incidents, Olivier Giroud scored in the 77th minute - heading home from a Reece James cross - but it was ruled out by VAR for offside with the Chelsea striker's foot just ahead of Harry Maguire.
DERMOT'S VERDICT: Correct decision.
DERMOT SAYS: "It will be interesting to see what happens on Saturday week at the IFAB meeting when things will be discussed.
"We've only got 11 days to wait. Of the three key decisions, this is the easy one as he is offside with the setup we currently have.
"I don't think anybody can argue about that at the moment, but whether they adopt something different after February 29, we'll have to wait and see."