Manchester United‘s frustrating draw against West Ham United ensured a final day drama to determine the last two contenders for the vying Champions League spots. Paul Pogba’s handball inside the penalty box late in the first half gave the visiting Londoners a vital lead, who secured their place in the league in the end.
While the Red Devils started the match on a bright note, the jaded squad allowed the Hammers to get back into the match. In the dying moments of the first half, right-back Fosu-Mensah brought down Michail Antonio with a sliding tackle.
The set-piece brought forward a shot from distance by Declan Rice, the attempt was stopped by Paul Pogba who used his hands to block the ball.
— Marujonauta (@marujonauta) July 22, 2020
While the Frenchman laid flat on the ground making it seem he took a blow to his face, VAR and the replays proved otherwise. West Ham were rightly awarded a penalty kick which in-form Antonio was able to put away after sending De Gea in the wrong direction.
Antonio proceeded to rub salt into the midfielder’s wounds after joking about the handball. The striker imitated Pogba’s actions to prevent the ball from hitting his face and was seen sharing a laugh with Bruno Fernandes.
Antonio is rude 😂😩 pic.twitter.com/csSOVN0qDk
— Frimpon (@FrimponOnline) July 22, 2020
All fingers pointed at Pogba
The fans and pundits alike were not amused with Pogba’s actions in such a vital encounter. Manchester United legends Gary Neville and Patrice Evra were less than impressed and criticized the 26-year-old. Neville said:
“He’s in big, big trouble, Paul Pogba. He’s given away a penalty and pretended it’s hit his head. It’s rubbish from him. Embarrassing. Forget the fact that it’s an appalling lack of discipline from Paul Pogba, in terms of giving the penalty away.
“There is no case for him putting his arms up at all. He can duck out of the way if he wants, but he can’t put his arms up. It’s caused Man Utd a very big problem.”
The Red Devils were able to claw back into the contest after Mason Greenwood pulled one goal back six minutes into the second half. However, a point was all the side could take from the contest.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side managed to climb up the table to the third position where they sit level with Chelsea on points but ahead on goal difference.
Manchester United now need at least a point off their final encounter against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Sunday.