Manchester United Benefits from Crazy Missed Penalty Call in 1-0 Win over Fulham

Adam Hirshfield@ahirshfieldFeatured ColumnistMarch 26, 2012

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 26:  Wayne Rooney of Manchester United (L) celebrates with Jonny Evans as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Fulham at Old Trafford on March 26, 2012 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

It was just another ho-hum 1-0 victory for Manchester United on Monday, as the Red Devils got a 42nd-minute goal from Wayne Rooney to defeat Fulham and reclaim the top spot in the English Premier League from Man City.

United dominated possession, owning the ball a commanding 60 percent of the match, and the Reds' defense was largely stellar, both in their end and—especially Rafael and Patrice Evra—on attack.

Except for one controversial play.

With a single minute left before second-half injury time, the Cottagers’ Danny Murphy made a solid run with the ball toward the United box. A step into the area, Murphy appeared to be clattered by the backtracking Michael Carrick

But referee Michael Oliver waved off Fulham’s claims for a potentially game-tying penalty.

Replays showed—take a look here before the video is removed—that Carrick did appear to graze Murphy’s left leg as he dribbled toward goal, but no foul was whistled.

Fulham fans and critics alike screamed bloody murder at both the missed call and United's good-refereeing fortune at Old Trafford.

How does Michael Oliver not award a late penalty for #Fulham v #MUFC? Because as 1 referee once told me 'you don't do that at Old Trafford'

— Angus Scott (@AngusScott) March 26, 2012

Even United defender Jonny Evans admitted to Sky Sports after the match that a penalty could have been whistled

"You have a quick look to the referee but he's waved it away," Evans said.

"Having seen it back again you accept he could have given it."