Wolverhampton Wanderers head coach Gary O’Neil says his side should have been awarded a penalty during Monday’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United after goalkeeper Andre Onana “almost took our centre forward’s head off”.
Onana collided with Wolves forward Sasa Kalajdzic in second-half stoppage time as he failed to claim a cross but was not penalised for the challenge.
The incident was checked by VAR but referee Simon Hooper was not ordered to consult the monitor. O’Neil was then shown a yellow card by Hooper for his protests.
“I thought live that it was a penalty,” O’Neil told Sky Sports. “I thought it looked like the goalkeeper almost took our centre forward’s head off… and when I watch it back it looks the same. Really, really surprised.
“I think it’s a foul. When you go for the ball and clatter into an attacking player that hard I think it has to be a foul. I’m not overly surprised we didn’t get it to be honest.
“As he (Hooper) jogged over towards us I thought he might be going to the screen but as it turned out he booked me and not Onana.”
On Hooper not being told to consult the monitor, O’Neil added: “I understand it (sticking with on-field decisions as much as possible) but I don’t accept it fully. I think the on-field referee, it’s a really difficult decision for them. So we can’t just leave it because they (VAR) have said no.
“If we all think it’s a penalty and a lot of people coming through already saying they think it’s a stonewall penalty so (I’m) disappointed but we shouldn’t be talking too much about that.”
Erik Ten Hag admitted the decision to not award a penalty could be debated but that ultimately the correct call was made.
“After the opponent touched the ball he dived in so it was the judgement of the officials and lucky for us no penalty,” the United manager told BBC Sport. “I think you can debate it but I think no penalty.”
United secured a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford thanks to Raphael Varane’s second-half header. The match was O’Neil’s first in charge of Wolves, having been appointed Julen Lopetegui’s successor just five days earlier,
United return to action on Saturday evening when they travel to Tottenham, while Wolves welcome Brighton to Molineux earlier in the day.
(Photo: Simon Stacpoole/Offside via Getty Images)