Ferdinand brands Attwell penalty decision in Chelsea draw with Manchester United ‘disgraceful’

The referee was summoned to look at the monitor by VAR, but stuck with his original decision

Rio Ferdinand has hit out at referee Stuart Attwell for his failure to award Manchester United a penalty against Chelsea on Sunday.

During the first half of the 0-0 draw at Stamford Bridge, Callum Hudson-Odoi handled the ball in his own area.

Attwell waved play on, but when the game was stopped a short while later he was urged to look at the situation again by VAR, only to stick with his original decision.

What was said?

Ferdinand was asked for his take on the incident on his Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE podcast, and did not hold back in his assessment.

“We should have had a penalty,” the former Manchester United defender said. “I don’t know what’s going on with these rules, these referees and stuff like that.

“I don’t know how you go to the screen and look at the screen and don’t give the penalty. It doesn’t make sense.

“I saw it the first time in real time and shouted ‘penalty!’ in my front room. How he’s not seeing it and giving it and the people at Stockley Park aren’t going ‘give that penalty now’. 

“There’s nothing they can tell me that will change my mind that it should be a penalty. It’s a disgrace.”

Ferdinand offers up a solution

The lack of explanation from the officials on why they came to the decision – and other instances earlier in the season – is concerning to football fans.

Ferdinand believes the solution would be to follow rugby’s lead and have the officials wearing microphones that are audible to those watching on television.

“What would clear this up is if they put mics on the ref, put mics on the people at Stockley Park so we can hear them having a discussion about the situation,” he said. “It would clear a lot of this up.

“We would then be able to say ‘I know why they made that decision now’. But because we don’t hear anything, and just get the decision.

“The confusion comes because we don’t know how they got to the decision.

“The problem with this one is we need to know why he came to that decision, because he saw it was a handball.”

Man Utd’s record against the big boys

The 0-0 draw with Chelsea saw United’s winless run against the top six extended to seven games

Ferdinand is not concerned about that stat, with a bigger worry being the failure to beat Sheffield United.

“United against the top six, we have played seven and won zero, drawn five and lost two,” Ferdinand said. “I don’t think it is as bad as people make out.

“Where we are dropping points is Sheffield United at home. That’s more concerning. 

“Dropping points like that where you are expected to win, they are the ones where I sit and think ‘you bully the lesser teams in the league and don’t lose against the big boys.’

“Man Utd have still got games to play against the big six so this table of played seven won none could look very different by the end of the season.”

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