'What a disgrace': Football world rages over Cristiano Ronaldo drama

·6-min read
Pictured here, Cristiano Ronaldo looks stunned after a penalty appeal is controversially turned down.
Cristiano Ronaldo had two penalty appeals controversially turned down against West Ham. Pic: Optus Sport/Getty

Premier League officials have come under fire from football fans after a pair of highly contentious calls in Manchester United's dramatic win against West Ham.

David de Gea ended one of football's most frustrating runs, with his last-gasp penalty save securing United's victory over the high-flying Hammers.

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Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and a sublime winner from Jesse Lingard cancelled out Said Benrahma's deflected opener for West Ham, to secure the three points for United.

De Gea's 95th minute penalty save was his first in five years and ended a painful run of 40 successive spot kicks since he last saved one.

It was a chaotic end to a match that was mired in controversy, with Ronaldo having two penalty shouts waved away by referee Martin Atkinson and the VAR.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted both were "stonewall" penalties for fouls on Ronaldo in the box, with neither decision even being referred back to Atkinson for checking by the VAR.

That was in stark contrast to the stoppage-time penalty awarded to West Ham for a handball on Luke Shaw, that the referee gave after checking the pitchside monitor.

"I think they’re stonewall (penalties), you can’t even argue them. I think the first one the lad puts his leg up and Cristiano runs straight and is fouled," Solskjaer said to Sky Sports after the match.

"The last one, Paul had a foul when Kurt Zouma went over him. So why is Cristiano's third appeal not a penalty?

"Hopefully it won’t be Cristiano is never going to get a penalty."

It wasn't just the United manager that was left baffled by the officiating, with fans labelling it a "disgrace" that VAR failed to refer the two Ronaldo penalty appeals.

In the day's later game, Chelsea dismantled London rivals Tottenham 3-0 to go top of the table and level on points with United and Liverpool.

The European champions' dominant second-half performance at Spurs, with goals by Thiago Silva, the inspirational N'Golo Kante and Antonio Rudiger, saw the unbeaten Blues move on to 13 points.

It was an emotional afternoon at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, as the two sides for whom Jimmy Greaves scored most of his goals paid tribute to their late, great striking star who has died at the age of 81.

After the hosts had shaded the first half, Chelsea took complete control after the break to send out an ominous warning in the title race.

Thiago's header put Chelsea ahead in the 49th minute, sub Kante's deflected shot beat Hugo Lloris shortly after and Rudiger's late strike was enough to give Chelsea an identical record to Liverpool, with both sides on 13 points from five games, both having scored 12 goals and conceded just one.

Pictured here, Chelsea's players celebrate during their Premier League win over Tottenham.
Chelsea's players celebrate during their win over Tottenham in the Premier League. Pic: Getty

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, who'd brought on Kante after the break, reckoned the little powerhouse had made the difference.

"Top player, if you have N'Golo you have something everyone is looking for," Tuchel said. "You have everything you need in midfield, you have work rate, intensity, ball wins, skilful play, dribbles, half-field drives and even a goal.

"I see this every day in training and it is hard to believe how good he is. He is a unique guy, there are no more words from me. N'Golo is N'Golo, he is fantastic."

Elsewhere, Brighton maintained their impressive start to the season with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Leicester at the Amex Stadium to move to fourth in the table, a point behind the top three, thanks to a penalty from Neal Maupay and header from Danny Welbeck.

Jamie Vardy pulled one back in the 61st with his 150th goal for Leicester on his 250th Premier League appearance.

with AAP

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