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Why VAR awarded Chelsea two penalties despite claims of ‘lack of enough’ contact in Chelsea’s dramatic 4-3 win over Man United

Chelsea and Manchester United engaged in an exhilarating match at Stamford Bridge on April 4th.

The game saw both teams surrendering leads before Chelsea ultimately emerged victorious.


In a dramatic turn of events, Cole Palmer netted twice during injury time, securing the win for Mauricio Pochettino’s squad.

Initially, Chelsea had a 2-0 advantage, but Manchester United clawed their way back into contention before halftime.

Alejandro Garnacho’s goal 23 minutes before the final whistle seemed to secure the victory for Erik ten Hag’s team.

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However, a penalty awarded to Chelsea after a foul on Noni Madueke by Diogo Dalot led to the equalizer. Madueke expertly converted the penalty, sending Andre Onana the wrong way for the second time in the match.

Soon after, a clever play from Enzo Fernandez during a corner kick found Palmer unmarked outside the box, who then scored the decisive goal, sparking jubilation among Chelsea fans.

Manchester United supporters were discontented with the penalty decisions, particularly the first one involving Antony’s challenge on Marc Cucurella.

Although some fans argued that the contact was minimal, referee Jarred Gillet stood by his decision.

The incident with Dalot, who slipped and made contact with Madueke, also sparked controversy.

While some deemed the contact too soft for a penalty, VAR David Coote upheld the decision after reviewing the replays, citing sufficient contact as per the IFAB laws.

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Notably, the IFAB guidelines state that a penalty should be awarded for direct free-kick offenses within the penalty area, with the referee having discretion over the level of contact required.

“We don’t want too much interference. We’ve seen negative comments about overinterference by VAR, so by reserving it for clear situations, then we feel it serves the game best,” said the head of the referee’s body, Howard Webb, on the Premier League’s website.

Additionally, VAR’s role is to intervene only in clear and obvious errors, particularly in factual decisions such as offsides, rather than re-refereeing the match.

Had the on-field decision been ‘no penalty,’ the VAR would have likely agreed with it and let play continue.

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