Cristiano Ronaldo should have had penalty against West Ham, former referee says

Cristiano Ronaldo was involved in two penalty incidents at the London Stadium

Cristiano Ronaldo should have been awarded a penalty in Manchester United’s 2-1 win at West Ham on Sunday, according to former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher.

The Portuguese forward was involved in two penalty appeals at the London Stadium, the first when he fell over Vladimir Coufal’s outstretched leg and the second when he went down under Kurt Zouma’s sliding challenge.

Both appeals were waved away and were not overturned by VAR, as United chased a late victory. Jesse Lingard’s 89th-minute goal earned the visitors three points, with Mark Noble missing the opportunity to draw the match when West Ham were awarded a penalty for a handball on Luke Shaw in stoppage time.

Ronaldo continued his record of scoring in each of his United appearances since rejoining the club as he pulled Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side level in the first half, but Gallagher insisted that the 36-year-old was denied an opportunity to score a second from the spot.

Appearing on Ref Watch on Sky Sports, Gallagher said a penalty should have been given for Coufal’s challenge while referee Martin Atkinson made the correct decision to not award a spot-kick for Zouma’s challenge.

On the Coufal tackle, he said: “I was surprised this wasn’t given. I think it’s an easier decision to make to give a penalty.

“He dangled a leg, they adjudged he tried to take it away, but he’d already gone too far into the challenge, for me.”

But when reviewing the next incident, the former official had a different take. “I think this is going to split everyone,” he said.

“My original thought was ‘penalty’, but when I see Martin Atkinson’s view I thought ‘no penalty’, because Ronaldo goes down way before the contact.

“He anticipates the contact, but goes down way before the contact is made. Many would give a penalty, many wouldn’t, but that’s the nature of the beast; it’s a very subjective matter.”

Ronaldo was also denied a penalty in United’s 2-1 defeat by Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday.

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