Details emerge of Old Trafford tunnel altercation involving United and City players 4 months ago

Details emerge of Old Trafford tunnel altercation involving United and City players

Harry Maguire, the peacemaker.

Football fans would all have spotted Manchester City players remonstrating with referee Stuart Atwell and his match officials during and after their defeat to rivals Manchester United.


TV cameras did not pick up on some unsavoury post-match scenes in the tunnel leading from the pitch, well after the final whistle.

City were livid when Marcus Rashford was deemed to not be interfering in play, in the lead-up to Bruno Fernandes' equaliser. The goal was initially ruled out for offside before Atwell, his linesman and VAR official Michael Oliver all agreed that the forward had neither touched the through-ball or obstructed any City players.

Four minutes after that equaliser and with City still fuming, Alejandro Garnacho set up Rashford to score the winner:


Post-match tunnel scenes

Following the game, the Manchester City players swarmed the match officials with their complaints. One of their main bones of contention was Stuart Atwell not consulting the pitch-side monitor to get another view of the Fernandes goal build-up.

Multiple reports state that the arguments went on all the way off the pitch and up the tunnel, with City players Manuel Akanji, Kyle Walker and Jack Grealish the most demonstrative.


The Sunday Times also reports that it was Harry Maguire that left the 'Home' dressing room to try placate the irate City players. Scott McTominay was also said to have been on the scene as efforts were made to calm the City players down and allow the match officials to move on. It remains to be seen if these post-match protests will be listed in the referee's full match report.

After City's 2-1 defeat, Akanji tore into the officials for allowing the United equaliser to stand. He told The Telegraph:

"To be honest, the first goal is a joke that it’s allowed. Rashford is clearly offside so I played him offside. He runs [after the ball] to the last second and only stops because Bruno is coming in behind him. I understand. He doesn’t touch the ball but he runs for 30 metres, chasing the ball then he stops. The ref didn’t look at the situation.

“The referee didn’t say anything to me but I talked to the linesman and he said, ‘Did Rashford touch the ball?’ I said, ‘No, but he’s chasing the ball for a long time'. In that situation, the referee has to at least look at the situation and can understand the situation I am in and Kyle [Walker] on the other side. Probably the pressure got to him in the stadium. That’s why he decided to let it go."

Defeat for Manchester City means they lost chance to make ground on Arsenal before their Premier League derby encounter with Tottenham.


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