VAR strikes again! Man Utd denied as Mata goal deemed offside

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The attacker thought he had doubled Manchester United's lead against Huddersfield only to be declared offside on review

Video Assistant Refereeing has struck again and this time Juan Mata and Manchester United will feel the victims.

Mata appeared to double Manchester United's lead against Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup just before half-time, after he took an Ashley Young pass, rounded goalkeeper Jonas Lossel and finished off the chance.

However, the celebrations proved premature as referee Kevin Friend consulted the VAR, who deemed Mata to be offside, ruling out the goal.

The decision looked to be an extremely close one, with Mata quite possibly just level with the defender. 

Mata had already contributed to United's advantage, delivering the assist for Romelu Lukaku's third-minute opener.

Earlier in the week in the build-up to the game, Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho spoke on VAR and deferred to referees on whether it was a good thing or bad thing.

“When people ask us if we like it, if we don’t like it, if we agree with it or don’t agree with it, I think honestly it’s a question for the referees,” Mourinho told MUTV.

“They want to perform the best they can, they don’t like to make mistakes. And sometimes they make mistakes because it’s a human mistake and you cannot go over it unless you have some technological support. So, if the referees are happy with that technological support, then yes, let’s go for the VAR. I think, from my perspective, I like the feeling.”

He also believed the system will be improved upon as it gets used, noting there are issues with it at the current time.

“Of course, they need adjustments,” he said. “They need to make sure that they don’t change the dynamic of the game too much, the emotion of the game too much – people waiting a couple of minutes to know if they can jump [and celebrate] because it was a goal.

“But, from my professional perspective, I like the feeling of a right decision is coming. It’s a penalty or not a penalty, it’s handball or not handball, it’s a red card or not a red card. I think a fair decision is a feeling that I like.”

United goalkeeper David de Gea, who was rested for the game, offered his response to Mata's goal being disallowed on Twitter.

Mourinho's side did double their lead 10 minutes into the second half when Alexis Sanchez set up Lukaku for the Belgian striker's second goal of the game. They went on to win by a 2-0 scoreline, sending the Red Devils to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

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