Why Cristiano Ronaldo’s equaliser for Man United vs Atalanta stood despite Mason Greenwood handball
Man United draw with Atalanta
Manchester United were, once again, able to complete some form of a comeback to avoid losing in the Champions League.
The Red Devils had, before Tuesday, already come from behind to beat Atalanta and Villareal in this season’s Champions League.
And, when facing Atalanta for a second team this week, United once again, came from behind.
The Manchester outfit were unable to secure the win this time around, but a draw meant that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were able to maintain top spot in Group F with just two games left to play.
Why Ronaldo’s second goal stood
Of course, it was that man Cristiano Ronaldo who was essential in United rescuing a point, scoring in injury time of both the first and second halves of the match.
It was Man United and Ronaldo’s second of the evening, though, which did look to cause some controversy.
This was because, as shown below, the ball quite clearly hits Mason Greenwood’s arm in the build-up:
No way Ronaldo! 😱😱😱
How does he keep on doing this!
Such a clean volley to rescue Man Utd yet again! pic.twitter.com/UaVyRFQsy6
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 2, 2021
So why then, did Ronaldo’s second goal stand despite it being checked by VAR?
Well, that is because the handball rules were changed ahead of the 2021/22 season.
As reported by the Premier League back in August, two laws of the game were revised by the International Football Association Board (IFAB), changing how handball is interpreted by match officials.
One of these was on accidental handball in the immediate build-up to a goal (like Greenwood’s ahead of Ronaldo’s goal).
As per the Premier League:
If an attacking player’s accidental handball immediately precedes another player scoring, the goal will now be awarded, when last season it was likely to have been ruled out.
Of course, this then leaves whether or not the player in question accidentally handled the ball open to interpretation. But in the case of Greenwood, VAR obviously believed that it was an accident, hence why the goal was able to stand.
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