Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had an equaliser awarded by VAR as Manchester United and Arsenal played out a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford.
While close decisions have dominated the conversation around the technology, the blatant mistake that saw Aubameyang flagged offside is what the system was introduced to eliminate.
United had taken the lead through Scott McTominay’s first goal at Old Trafford, a fine strike from outside the box, and the game did improve after a distinctly drab start.
But the lack of quality was evident and a point for United leaves them tenth with nine points – the first time they have failed to reach double figures after seven games in 30 years – while Arsenal nudged back into the top four.
It took 29 minutes for the first shot and the first really incisive bit of play, the ball breaking in midfield for Andreas Pereira, who drove at the Arsenal defence and broke into the area before seeing his shot saved by Bernd Leno.
That sparked a bright spell for Arsenal, Nicolas Pepe shooting over before the Gunners had a good chance to threaten when Pereira was cautioned for a foul on Matteo Guendouzi only for Granit Xhaka to produce a baffling free-kick that Chambers put behind.
David De Gea made his first save from Pepe at the back post, while Paul Pogba finally found Marcus Rashford with a fine through ball only for a combination of a slip by the striker and good tracking by Sokratis to thwart the danger.
In the 44th minute, Bukayo Saka’s shot across goal was parried by De Gea, who got up well to block the follow-up from Guendouzi. Moments later, United broke away and the chance looked to have gone when Daniel James over-hit his cross for Rashford, but the striker picked out McTominay 22 yards out and he found the top of the net via the slightest deflection off Sokratis.
United wanted a penalty early in the second half for a handball by Sead Kolasinac, but referee Kevin Friend turned down the appeals and it was not deemed enough of a mistake for the decision to be overturned.
However, one replay was all it took to show that assistant Scott Ledger had erroneously raised his flag against Aubameyang after Axel Tuanzebe’s awful pass had allowed Saka to play in the striker, who neatly chipped De Gea. The visitors nearly had a second immediately but the impressive Saka, 18, was denied by a goal-saving block by Victor Lindelof.
United sought a response and Pogba curled a shot just wide, before McTominay planted a free header over the bar when he should have scored.
Leno was then called upon to push a strong shot by Harry Maguire over, and the keeper saved his best for last with a diving stop to keep out Rashford’s late free-kick.