Bayern humiliated Barcelona. A massive score line. 8 goals to Barcelona’s 2. For a lot of football fans, that more or less summed up how this year has played out. Here to tell you that was a trailer to the real thing.
The Manchester United heist happened on September 26th, in the early kick-off match between Brighton and Manchester United.
A game that produced 5 goals, with 2 goals being ruled out by VAR, 2 penalties scored, 1 penalty ruled out, 5 cards shown to players on the field, and 5 strikes against the woodwork (all 3, crossbar, and the left and right poles).
United, much to the dismay of a lot of football fans, won the match and stole the 3 points from right under the noses of Brighton. But this was no ordinary win. This win took the disregard of the full-time whistle that was blown when the match was tied at 2 – 2, and Brighton thought they had secured a point.
Brighton took the lead via a penalty in the first half, only for Lewis Dunk to score himself and restore parity between the two. Things went from bad to worse for the home team when United took the lead through Rashford’s solo goal.
Although they kept knocking, the 90th minute saw them still trailing. That was until Solly March scored the late equalizer to tie things up.
Straightway, United went for the jugular. An opportunity presented itself in a corner kick. A corner kick that was swung in and cleared right off the Brighton line. Almost. The referee had blown for full time, but skipper Harry Maguire and co. were not having it.
They signaled to the referee with intensity and pressure – there was a handball somewhere. But it’s the full time, right? Nothing can come of these appeals. Wrong.
The referee went to the VAR monitor, ran unto the pitch, and gave the penalty. Maupay in a heated moment of stupidity had touched the ball with his hand as the ball came into the box.
For a player who scored the penalty to put his team ahead and celebrated dramatically, the prayers of Matteo Guendozi, the Arsenal player who was tormented by Maupay after Arsenal lost to Brighton and lost Leno to a tackle from Maupay must have finally been answered.
Bruno Fernandes, who was the culprit for bringing Tariq Lamptey down for the penalty that put Brighton ahead, stepped up, with ice in his veins, to dispatch the goal that would break all the hearts of the Brighton team.
It may have happened in the Bundesliga sometime back according to the history books, but this one was hard to take in. United did not deserve to win this game. A draw was even flattering to them.
But they pulled off the greatest heist in the history of the Premier League. They didn’t just come back from behind to win; they overrode the full-time whistle to win the match.