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United boss Skinner laments ‘massive decisions’ as the Red Devils face defeat at Kingsmeadow

Marc Skinner calls for "investment in officials" after United are denied two penalty shouts



12 March 2023

Manchester United boss, Marc Skinner lamented the referees performance as he felt “two stonewall penalties” were not given to his side in the crucial clash at Kingsmeadow on Sunday.

Sam Kerr’s 22nd minute strike was enough to separate the sides, but it could’ve been oh so different on another day. Kadeisha Buchanan’s challenge on Nikita Parris, and Jess Carter’s on Ona Battle, were both deemed fair challenges by referee Cheryl Foster but it’s fair to say that Skinner didn’t see eye to eye with the officials.

“They’re big decisions in big games, we’ve come here, had 62% possession, forced Chelsea into playing counter attack and we’ve had two penalties not given, that’s the reality. I’m hopeful that we see things balance out”. 

As a result of the decisions, Skinner calls for “investment in the officials and the technology that can help. You see the same challenges not given in the box, that are given in the middle of the park, so something isn’t connecting here.”

Chelsea’s goal came about after a stunning long ball from Lauren James found Sam Kerr in behind the back line of United before the Australian striker dinked it over Mary Earps for the eventual winner. “It’s a switch off moment for us, Sam Kerr is really good at getting in behind the back line, we’ve spoken about it all week, one long ball should be able to be dealt with, but we have to learn from it.”

The United gaffer said that "|the girls will be fuming (with the decisions), but we need to be sharper in their box”, with United having not forced Chelsea keeper Ann Katrin-Berger into any real save in the ninety minutes. “If we play that game again we don’t lose it”, commented the United boss.

On the performances of Leah Galton and Ella Toone, who weren’t at their best for the Red Devils, Skinner admitted, “we tried to get Leah into the game in the first half, there were moments we need to be braver between the lines to play the ball. Tooney gets into some great positions but we didn’t play her. We could’ve invaded Chelsea’s backline a lot quicker, but Chelsea sat in a block, so it’s very difficult to play around or in behind them”.

Marc Skinner and Man United will have to dust themselves off and go again quickly, with their next game an FA Cup Quarter Final, against Championship side Lewes, where Skinner’s side will no doubt look to avoid a cup upset.


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