Manchester United’s Europa League game with Real Sociedad was not free of the recent discussion about VAR calls, as Lisandro Martinez was adjudged to have handled in the box.

VAR has never been particularly popular in football but recently some decisions in the Premier League have led to even more scrutiny for the video officials, and the humans who use it.

Newcastle, Aston Villa, West Ham, Brighton and Arsenal have all had their own gripes in the past week or so, with the Gunners annoyed during their game with United, having a goal disallowed.

But on Thursday it was Erik ten Hag’s turn to have issue with the officials, when Martinez, who came on at half time, giving away a penalty.

Former Manchester City man David Silva, back in the city for the first time, hit a shot into the box which came off the defender’s leg and bounced up onto his arm, which was in a natural position, with the referee pointing to the spot.

Commentators, viewers and pundits alike all expected VAR to overturn the decision but were left shocked when the system decided it was still a penalty.

“How on earth is that a penalty??? Martinez has blocked the shot with his leg and its rebounded up onto his arm. These officials are so bloody useless! How do you look at a replay of that a decide its a deliberate handball,” one fan said.

“All the laws say that isn’t a penalty, VAR gives penalty. Does anyone actually know what’s going on any more?” another added.

“Can’t quite understand how that is a penalty, in any version of the sport,” Marca writer Chris Winterburn rightly pointed out.

Even a Barcelona fan got in on the act, saying, “Nah this is never a penalty in a million years. I am a not a fan of United but if these are given as penalty football is finished as a sport.

“What could have the defender possibly done? It got rebounded from his knee onto his arm.”

And an Arsenal fan, almost certainly still aggrieved from the weekend, said, ” That’s not a penalty but it’s against United so lovely stuff.”

Martinez was adjudged to have handled the ball. Image: AlamyAccording to the laws of the game, the penalty should not have stood, with the rule reading, “It is not an offence if the ball touches a player’s hand/arm: directly from the player’s own head or body (including the foot).

“Directly from the head or body (including the foot) of another player who is close.

“If the hand/arm is close to the body and does not make the body unnaturally bigger.”