Manchester United should have been awarded a penalty for a foul on Antonio Valencia in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal, according to former Premier League referee Howard Webb.
United manager Jose Mourinho said in his news conference after the game that he knew whether it should have been given or not — but did not want to say what he thought. The Portuguese added that he wanted to “reaffirm that the referee [Andre Marriner] tried to do his best.”
Valencia had gone to ground in the 35th minute of the game, while the score was 0-0, after Arsenal’s Nacho Montreal put an arm across him.
Webb told BT Sport: “I think on balance it was a penalty. Was it a cast-iron, stonewall penalty? No.
“I saw it in slow-motion and the contact was less significant than I first thought. But do I think Monreal in his attempt to get the ball impeded him? Yes I do. I think it’s a penalty and I’m surprised Andre didn’t give it.
“I don’t think there would have been much reaction if he had and I’m sure [Arsenal manager Arsene] Wenger would have been screaming for it down the other end.”
Mourinho was visibly upset when the decision was not given in his team’s favour but did not direct his emotions at the officials.
United went on to take the lead in the 68th minute from Juan Mata’s strike, but Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud headed in a late equaliser.
United had also been denied a penalty in the previous home game against Burnley, which finished 0-0, and Mourinho had reacted angrily — leading to a one-match touchline ban.