Sport

VAR ‘ruined one of the greatest FA Cup moments ever’ after Coventry’s last-minute winner against Man United was ruled offside as they say it ‘kills all the joy of sport’

Viewers of Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final were left fuming after VAR ruled Coventry’s extra-time winner against Manchester United marginally offside, with one saying the controversial decision ‘ruined one of the greatest FA Cup moments ever’.

The Championship side almost completed a memorable comeback after coming from 3-0 down to take the tie at Wembley into extra-time.


And with just seconds left in the game, Coventry thought they had won it when Victor Torp turned the ball home in the 121st minute.

Celebrations were short-lived, however, after VAR intervened and deemed that forward Haji Wright was inches offside in the build-up to the goal.

United then won the match on penalties to set up a clash against Manchester City in a repeat of last year’s final, which saw the Red Devils lose 2-1 to their bitter rivals.

VAR ruled Coventry’s extra-time winner against Manchester United in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final marginally offside (pictured: the VAR decision system replaying the incident)

Victor Torp thought he had scored the winner for Coventry against United in the 121st minute.

The Red Devils advanced to the FA Cup final on penalties and set up a repeat of last year’s showpiece.

Fans have taken to social media to vent their anger at the decision which stopped the Sky Blues from being the first non-Premier League to reach the FA Cup final since Cardiff in 2008.

One wrote on X: ‘That is not what football is about. VAR ruined one of the greatest FA Cup moments ever.

‘A toenail offside. Give me a break. Coventry should be in the final. Utterly pathetic.’

Another added: ‘VAR kills all the joy of sport. Coventry robbed of one of the greatest moments in their history because Wright’s toenail was offside.’

One fan said: ‘A classic example of an offside call that didn’t exist before VAR – the solution to a problem that no one felt needed solving.’

Meanwhile, satirical London mayoral election candidate Count Binface wrote: ‘Vote Count Binface and I will abolish VAR.’

Erik ten Hag’s team had been three goals up and cruising through to the May 25 final after goals from Scott McTominay, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes put them on course for what at that stage looked a routine win.

But Mark Robins’s Coventry side, who are eighth in the second tier, roared back with a recovery that almost defied belief.

Fans have taken to social media to vent their anger at the decision which stopped the Sky Blues from being the first non-Premier League to reach the FA Cup final since Cardiff in 2008

First, Ellis Simms converted a cross at the near post on 70 minutes to make it 3-1, then Callum O’Hare’s strike looped in off Aaron Wan-Bissaka to rattle United and spark a frantic finish.

Thereafter chaos reigned among Ten Hag’s defence as they clung on perilously to their lead, until three minutes into stoppage time Wan-Bissaka handled inside the box, giving Haji Wright the chance to write one of the great FA Cup stories from the penalty spot.

Sending Onana the wrong way, he coolly took the game to extra-time.

United survived the scare to progress to the final on penalties after Sky Blues captain Ben Sheaf sent the crucial penalty over the crossbar leaving Rasmus Hojlund to seal the 4-2 spot kick win with an assured finish.

Speaking after the game, Coventry boss Mark Robins said: ‘Bitterly disappointed, I’m proud as well.

‘Someone said to me I don’t think any team has been as close to a final without getting there.

‘We deserved to go through, we were 20 seconds away and a toenail offside, it’s ridiculous.’

United midfielder Casemiro cut a dejected figure after his penalty was saved but his side spared his blushes and won the shootout.

Ten Hag bemoaned the decision to award Coventry a penalty for a handball on Aaron Wan-Bissaka deep into stoppage-time.

United needed penalties to sneak past Coventry in a thrilling cup match at Wembley.

Erik ten Hag claimed that his side’s progression to the FA Cup final was a ‘huge achievement’.

Manchester United manager Ten Hag said: ‘We have reached two finals in two years and that is a huge achievement.

‘I see the mistakes we make. You can’t avoid them.

‘But it’s not an embarrassment, it’s a huge achievement.’

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