Luke Shaw has escaped an FA charge despite his attack on referee Stuart Attwell.
Manchester United defender Shaw claimed post-match that team mate Harry Maguire had told him the referee did not give his team a penalty because it “would cause a lot of talk.”
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also suggested referees were being influenced by all the “noise” in recent months from rival managers because of the number of penalties his team had received.
Football Association bosses do allow players and managers to criticised officials but it is dangerous territory to question their integrity so it was widely expected that Shaw could get a charge.
Shaw was effectively questioning whether Attwell made up his mind not to give a penalty against Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi for handball by outside influences which was effectively questioning his integrity.
However, FA bosses felt that because Shaw was merely relaying what Maguire had said that if they did bring a charge then it could be difficult to prove it bearing in mind it was a second hand conversation.
United did issue a clarification on Sunday night after the game that Shaw had misheard or misunderstood Maguire’s comments when he spoke to the referee after a lengthy VAR check.
The decision has divided opinion but Attwell gave nothing at the time, was then urged to check the pitch side monitor and, despite it clearly striking Hudson-Odoi’s hand, did not deem it to be a penalty.
Former referees Mark Halsey, Peter Walton and Mark Clattenburg have all suggested it should have been a penalty but the VAR guidelines are also clear in that for any decision to be overturned it has to be a “clear and obvious error.”
The fact it divided opinion among the TV guests and among pundits means that maybe Attwell did not feel it was an obvious mistake.