Chris Wilder surprised VAR didn’t rule out Middlesbrough’s goal for handball vs Manchester United

Chris Wilder surprised VAR didn't rule out Middlesbrough's goal for handball vs Manchester United

Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder has stated that he expected VAR to rule out his side’s equaliser against Manchester United for handball but maintained that he was subsequently pleased with the decision.

Man United were dumped out of the FA Cup after losing 8-7 to Boro on penalties.

Jadon Sancho scored the opener after Manchester United had missed a couple of big chances including Cristiano Ronaldo’s miss from the penalty spot.

In the second half, the visitors scored the equaliser via a controversial goal after Duncan Watmore controlled the ball with his hand before passing to Matt Crook, who would score from a close range.

Both sides failed to score in the remainder of the regular time and extra time.

The tie was decided on penalties and the Championship side won the shootout 8-7 after Anthony Elanga missed his kick.

VAR refused to rule out the goal for handball, insisting that the player unintentionally handled the ball, hence agreeing to the initial call made by Anthony Taylor.

Chris Wilder told ITV after the game: “The decisions that are made through VAR have changed since I left the Premier League – I thought straight away it was handball.

“I thought it would be chalked out and delighted it wasn’t.”

Chris Wilder surprised VAR didn't rule out Middlesbrough's goal against Manchester United
Chris Wilder surprised VAR didn’t rule out Middlesbrough’s goal against Manchester United

Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick was surprised the goal stood as he believes the Boro player correctly handled the ball.

Rangnick on Middlesbrough’s goal: “How can it be accidental if he controls the ball up in the air with his hand? It was clear it should not stand but in the end I was really surprised it stood.

“In the moment when they scored, it was clear that VAR would not allow this goal to stand. We were not well positioned in that moment, too open and allowed them the counter, we should have won the game.”

The Middlesbrough player confirmed that the ball touched his hand but said it was unintentionally.

“It was completely accidental – I know it touched my hand but it wasn’t intended at all… it’s just amazing to set up Crooksy,” Watmore told ITV.

“We were in a United age group together here, so it’s quite special for both of us.”