Manchester United beat Brighton 2-0 last night thanks to goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes. Having struggled for form and results under Ralf Rangnick, the three points was much needed.
Scott McTominay and Fernandes closed down Yves Bissouma in his own half, with the ball falling to Ronaldo. With four players surrounding him, his quick feet bought him a couple of inches of space, before his perfect finish from the edge of the box put us ahead.
A few minutes later, more pressing from Anthony Elanga saw Lewis Dunk lose possession and then bring down the United youngster. Referee Peter Banks initially showed a yellow card to the Brighton defender which lead to fury from our players. After reviewing the foul on VAR, Dunk corrected his decision and sent Dunk off. Fernandes was booked for his part in confronting the referee over his poor initial sanction.
The FA have today charged United with failing to ensure our players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.
This brings back memories of the 2019-20 season when Dominic Calvert-Lewin fouled David de Gea in the lead up to a goal. At the time, the goalkeeper remained composed and didn’t berate the referee, presumably assuming that once Michael Oliver had seen the foul on VAR that he would reverse this decision. This didn’t happen though. Had De Gea chased down the referee for this poor decision, maybe he would have been more likely to be swayed once he saw the footage. As De Gea had seemingly accepted the call, it wasn’t reversed as it should have been, and the game finished 1-1.
Clubs can be charged and punished when their players react to dreadful decisions by the referee, but what happens to the referees who make dreadful decisions? Nothing.