Manchester United pair Luke Shaw and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer escaping FA punishment for their post-Chelsea comments on Sunday have since seen the finger of blame widely pointed at Stuart Attwell.
‘Told it was a penalty’
One of English football’s major talking points this past weekend of course surrounded an incident at Stamford Bridge.
The clash – which saw Chelsea play host to Man United in a crunch meeting in the race for European football – eventually ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
Visitors United, however, were left to feel rather aggrieved by the eventual result.
This came with the Red Devils adamant that they should have been awarded an early spot-kick, following a coming together between Callum Hudson-Odoi and Mason Greenwood in the Chelsea box:
NO PENALTY ❌⚽️
The ball strikes Hudson-Odoi’s hand in the box and Stuart Attwell consults the pitch-side monitor before deciding against awarding the penalty.
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 28, 2021
In the end, referee Stuart Attwell came to the conclusion that Hudson-Odoi’s actions were not worthy of a spot-kick.
The controversy, however, did not end there.
Speaking during a post-match interview, Luke Shaw suggested that Attwell had in fact informed Harry Maguire that he didn’t award a penalty in an attempt to avoid a fallout surrounding the incident:
‘The ref even said to H [Harry Maguire] that if I say it is a pen then it is going to cause a lot of talk afterwards. H got told it was a penalty.’
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, meanwhile, did little to quell the drama when drawn on Shaw’s claims during an interview of his own:
‘I can’t say, because that’s not going to be good for him. Of course it is [concerning] — I didn’t say it, I don’t want to cause controversy. It’s not right is it?’
The Norwegian went on to add:
‘It’s all these outside influences.’
‘We’ve seen… Was it Frank [Lampard] who started it? There’s loads of talk about us getting penalties when there is no doubt whatsoever and now of course we should have had a penalty. That’s as clear as it is.’
🗣 “It’s all these outside influences, it’s cheeky when they put that on their website, that’s influencing the referees. You can read it.” 😡
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vents his frustrations about the penalty that wasn’t given pic.twitter.com/7YK22ja6Oo
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 28, 2021
Such comments on the part of the United pair unsurprisingly saw an FA investigation opened earlier today, amid the widespread expectation that some form of sanction was set to be forthcoming.
It therefore came as something of a surprise when word arrived just hours later that Shaw and Solskjaer had been cleared, after it was decided that neither were in violation of the FA’s rules and regulations:
NEW: FA will take no action over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Luke Shaw media comments in relation to match officials yesterday. FA does not consider comments to be breaches of its rules and regulations. #MUFC #SSN
— Bryan Swanson (@skysports_bryan) March 1, 2021
As outlined above, however, the governing body’s decision, in turn, has only resulted in further chatter spreading amongst fans.
This comes amid the suggestion that the Red Devils duo escaping a ban – despite others having been punished for far less – points towards Shaw’s comments on Attwell in fact being true.
Manchester United themselves released a statement last night, retracting the claims of their in-form stopper.
However, many have since insinuated that this likely came at the FA’s behest, after the Old Trafford hierarchy were made aware that neither Shaw nor Solskjaer would be facing a ban.
Such efforts would all come in a bid to avoid an official investigation being opened into Attwell’s ‘misheard’ comments, which, if proven accurate, would throw both the official and FA into hot water:
It’s because the chances are Attwell did say what Maguire claimed.
But let’s all clap for these referees https://t.co/g1efi0dNNT
— Samy* (@sazzam31) March 1, 2021
— Rob (@PTG_SDLROB) March 1, 2021
— SKG (@SKGUnited) March 1, 2021
— Matt Olley (@Matolski) March 1, 2021
😂😂😂 Because they know what they said was true.
— Jordan (@FourFourJordan) March 1, 2021
So they listened to the audio and decided they didn’t want to have to release it if United challenged any sanctions… pic.twitter.com/7uwQfuVeGX
— LTono Fernandes (@LJC_85) March 1, 2021
You love to see it!
Probably didn’t want it investigated further because they were telling the truth.
— Alex (@AA_utd) March 1, 2021
I think Shaw did hear the ref say that, United retracted his comments to protect the Ref and the FA/Integrity of the premier league. Luke Shaw is a 25 year old Footballer and speaks really well in interviews. He wouldn’t have said them comments unless he was 100% sure.
— Manchester United (@manutd17_) March 1, 2021
Manchester United betting odds, next game:
Manchester United’s latest videos
Reds qualify for the last 16 | Manchester United 0-0 Real Sociedad | UEFA Europa League
Leading 4-0 from the first leg, the Reds finished the job with a 0-0…
Highlights | Honours Even at Stamford Bridge | Chelsea 0-0 Manchester United | Premier League
See all the highlights from Stamford Bridge as United register a 20th consecutive away…
Manchester United latest news
Premier League table
|1||Manchester City FC||26||36||62|
|2||Manchester United FC||26||21||50|
|3||Leicester City FC||26||15||49|
|4||West Ham United FC||26||9||45|
|8||Tottenham Hotspur FC||25||14||39|
|9||Aston Villa FC||24||12||39|
|12||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||26||-6||34|
|13||Crystal Palace FC||26||-14||33|
|16||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||26||-7||26|
|17||Newcastle United FC||26||-17||26|
|19||West Bromwich Albion||26||-35||17|
|20||Sheffield United FC||26||-28||11|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||17|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||15|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||14|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||13|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||13|
|Calvert-Lewin, Dominic||Everton FC||13|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||12|
|Gundogan, Ilkay||Manchester City FC||11|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United FC||10|
|Watkins, Ollie||Aston Villa FC||10|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||9|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||9|
|Barnes, Harvey||Leicester City FC||9|
|Zaha, Wilfried||Crystal Palace FC||9|
|Lacazette, Alexandre||Arsenal FC||9|
|Maddison, James||Leicester City FC||8|
|Ings, Danny||Southampton FC||8|
|Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick||Arsenal FC||8|
|Soucek, Tomas||West Ham United FC||8|
|Mane, Sadio||Liverpool FC||7|
|Player||Team||Red Cards||Yellow Cards|
|Gallagher, Conor||West Bromwich Albion||0||8|
|Bellerin, Hector||Arsenal FC||0||8|
|Milivojevic, Luka||Crystal Palace FC||1||7|
|Hayden, Isaac||Newcastle United FC||0||8|
|Maguire, Harry||Manchester United FC||0||7|
|Lundstram, John||Sheffield United FC||1||6|
|Evans, Jonny||Leicester City FC||0||7|
|Egan, John||Sheffield United FC||1||6|
|Bissouma, Yves||Brighton & Hove Albion FC||1||6|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||0||6|
|Klich, Mateusz||Leeds United||0||6|
|Doucoure, Abdoulaye||Everton FC||0||6|
|Hojbjerg, Pierre||Tottenham Hotspur FC||0||6|
|Xhaka, Granit||Arsenal FC||1||5|
|Romeu, Oriol||Southampton FC||0||6|
|Luiz, Douglas||Aston Villa FC||0||5|
|Kante, N`Golo||Chelsea FC||0||6|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||0||5|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||0||5|
|Dallas, Stuart||Leeds United||0||5|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||11|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||10|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||10|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City FC||10|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||8|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||6|
|Cresswell, Aaron||West Ham United FC||6|
|Digne, Lucas||Everton FC||6|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||5|
|Maddison, James||Leicester City FC||5|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||5|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||5|
|Werner, Timo||Chelsea FC||5|
|Neto, Pedro||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||5|
|Robertson, Andrew||Liverpool FC||5|
|Shaw, Luke||Manchester United FC||5|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||4|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||4|
|Wilson, Callum||Newcastle United FC||4|