Eric den Haag saves Andre Onana in a freak challenge in Man United’s narrow win over Wolves… but the goalkeeper says he was 'calm’ and believes he missed the penalty.



Man United manager Erik den Haag defended his goalkeeper Andre Onana despite his reckless challenge and awarded a late penalty against Wolves.

Onana tried to get a high ball deep into the box in second-half stoppage time when he clattered into Sasa Kalajdzic. But after a lengthy VAR review, referee Simon Hooper’s on-field decision stood, with no penalty awarded despite the best opposition from the visiting players and staff.

Rafael Varane’s header gave the players a 1-0 lead. Despite jeopardizing Man United’s victory in his moment of madness, Den Haag was quick to defend his shot-stopper Onana during the usual post-match formalities.

On Onana’s first match in the Premier League following his move from Inter Milan, the Dutch boss told the BBC: 'He had very good saves, very calm, very good debut.

’After the opponent touched the ball, he dived, it was a decision by the officials, lucky for us, no penalty. I guess you can debate it but I don’t think there is a penalty.

Eric Den Haag backed up Andre Onana, whose fierce challenge almost gave away a late penalty.
The goalkeeper said he was 'calm’ and hopeful a penalty would not be awarded.
VAR reviewed late scenes in detail after Onana clattered on Wolves’ Sasa Kalajdzic.

Meanwhile, Den Haag was reported by Reuters as saying: 'Andre was really brave and the ball touched before he dived, so I don’t think he was affected by the opponent’s touch. You can debate it, but I think there is no penalty.

Meanwhile, Onana told MUTV that he was not worried about the prospect of giving away a penalty in the dying moments of a close fight.

Asked if he was worried if he had given away a spot kick, Onana said: 'To be honest, no. I don’t mind at all because at the end of the day, I make my own decision, you can make the right choice, sometimes you don’t and at the end of the day you can learn from mistakes.

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’I trust the referees, it’s not easy for them to do, especially now with VAR. So I stayed calm, I knew it was a connection there, so I stayed calm, and for me, I’m very happy with this win.

Onana was delighted with her debut, saying, 'It was amazing. The fans are great, they are warm, I am very happy to be here and happy for the team to win.

„It’s important to get the win and we want a clean sheet, but at the end of the day, the most important thing is the win. I am happy with our first win at home and very important, now we have to look forward. Tough games are coming and we have to stick together because it won’t be easy.

’The team showed character, we show again that we are a good club, we have good players, we are used to playing on the biggest stage, so we show a lot of character because it is not easy.

„It’s very important for us because we expect to do better things this season, so it’s important for us to win this game and it’s important to fight and try and win every game. We want to win United, Manchester United and every trophy.’

Wolves scored 23 shots during the match, a surprisingly superior figure at Old Trafford, Man United’s usual stronghold, and ten Hoag impressed Gary O’Neill’s visitors.

Gary O’Neill’s visitors received plenty of plaudits for their attacking display at Old Trafford
But in the end, Raphael Varane’s header saw Man United win the game 1-0.

„The resistance is dynamic,” said the Dutchman. 'We had to match it. We had to fight for our points. They are a tough team. We hope to bowl better in the next game.’

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O’Neill praised his side’s confidence in attacking Man United, rather than letting last season’s third-placed side dominate proceedings.

O’Neill said: 'Ultimately we can’t just focus on that [penalty] Conclusion Arriving at Old Trafford with the most shots of any side since 2005 and dominating after four days of work [in training] Exceptional. The lads deserved more tonight.’

Wolves will be hoping that performance puts them in good stead for Saturday’s match at home to Brighton, while Man United will be looking to improve their display when they travel to Tottenham on the same day.

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