Why Manchester United defender Harry Maguire is set to avoid retrospective ban for Michy Batshuayi incident

Jack Rosser
Sky Sports

Harry Maguire's first Premier League goal for Manchester United on Monday night sealed a third victory over Chelsea this season and kept Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side in the race for Champions League qualification.

However, the United captain was rather fortunate to still be on the pitch to head home Bruno Fernandes' second-half corner after an incident with Michy Batshuayi in the first half.

As the pair slid off the pitch towards the home dugout, Maguire thrust his studs into Batshuayi's groin but escaped without punishment following a VAR review.

The England defender later claimed he had extended his leg in order to stop the Chelsea striker from falling on top of him.

The FA do not review incidents which have been seen by officials and reviewed by the VAR unless there are extraordinary circumstances, meaning Maguire will escape any further punishment.

FA guidelines state: "If video evidence clearly shows that a player has committed a dismissal offence that was not seen at the time it occurred by the match officials, or reviewed in time by VAR, The FA may take retrospective disciplinary action.

"Retrospective action was originally introduced to address ‘off-the-ball’ incidents of violent conduct or serious foul play that were committed out of the match officials’ eye line and to put the player in the same position as if the incident had been seen at the time.

"It has since evolved to include acts of violent conduct that happen secondary to a challenge for the ball where the match officials were concentrating on the challenge for the ball, or if the match officials’ view of the incident meant that they did not have the opportunity to make a decision on the specific act of misconduct.

"Whilst increased use of VAR may reduce the number of incidents where retrospective disciplinary action is possible or required because incidents ‘not seen’ by the match officials can be reviewed at the time, The FA may still initiate proceedings if it believes there may be a case to answer.

"If it is confirmed that the specific act of misconduct was seen or reviewed at the time it occurred, no further action is taken in almost all cases."

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was dumbfounded by the decision not to show Maguire a straight red, saying: “Decisions like that are crucial. Maguire should have got a red and then scores the second goal.

"I think that is a major part what VAR was brought in for. The second viewing, different angles. The referee can’t see all the angles, so if you aren’t going to look at the monitor then you won’t see them. That one was wrong.

"It is universally the wrong decision, everyone I have spoken to, not just in our changing room but neutrals as well have said the same.”

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Maguire said: "I knew I caught him. My natural reaction was to put my leg to catch him. It wasn't a kick out. It was just my natural reaction to straighten my leg.

"If he was to fall on me, I would then catch up. I knew I'd caught him. There was no intent to hurt him. It wasn't intentional.

"I apologised to him and it was nice that the referee saw sense."

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