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Why was Arsenal's goal allowed to stand against Manchester United?

Cristiano Ronaldo Bruno Fernandes Manchester United
(Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal scored against Manchester United with David De Gea on his back in the net. Emile Smith Rowe clearly didn't see the keeper down and he buried the chance. So why was it given?

Essentially, there was no foul.

Fred stood on the Spaniard's foot, with De Gea going down injured. Martin Atkinson didn't see what had happened; neither did United's players. Everyone played to the whistle and Smith Rowe scored.

While VAR looked at the decision, there was no foul to give. It is sportsmanlike to put the ball out when a player goes down but it doesn't have to happen by the laws of the game.

Atkinson consulted with his VAR official, who told him who stood on De Gea's foot. It wasn't an Arsenal player... so it's a goal. 

And United can feel aggrieved - but the Gunners are just as innocent as United are in all this. 

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Mark White

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.