'Not accidental!' - Paul Scholes hits out at controversial handball law in Man United's 4-1 win over Real Betis
| Last updated
Paul Scholes has ruthlessly slammed the football laws after a controversial decision in Manchester United’s resounding 4-1 Europa League win over Real Betis on Thursday.
United bounced back from their humiliating 7-0 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield in convincing fashion with a superb victory at Old Trafford in the first-leg last-16 clash.
Marcus Rashford fired United into the lead with a stunning strike in the sixth minute, only for Leicester City loanee Ayoze Perez to pull his side equal before half-time.
Antony then restored United’s lead early in the second half before Bruno Fernandes added his side’s third of the night only six minutes later.
Burnley loanee Wout Weghorst, who arrived at Old Trafford in January, scored United’s fourth against Betis and produced an emotional celebration in front of fans.
Erik ten Hag’s men have one foot in the door for a Europa League quarter-final place, but Scholes was not happy with Perez’s equaliser being allowed to stand.
Perez’s teammate Juanmi appeared to strike the ball in the build-up to Betis’ first-half equaliser, but VAR did not intervene or rule a handball decision against Betis.
Speaking after United’s win, BT Sport host Jules Breach said: “To clarify the law, because it is in the build-up to the goal and not from the goalscorer, because it was deemed as an accidental handball because it came off the chest onto the arm, that is why it was not deemed to be a handball.”
Joined in the studio by Owen Hargreaves and Scholes, she added: “But Paul, I know you don’t like the law.”
"The way these rules are written... it's getting ridiculous!" 👀@julesbreach lays down the handball laws to a bemused Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves...#UEL pic.twitter.com/mRyFfNZXvz— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 9, 2023
BT Sport pundit Hargreaves then asked former United teammate Scholes: “It was still handball, wasn’t it, Scholesy?”
Scholes pulled no punches with his scathing assessment by suggesting that it was not an “accidental” handball by Betis forward Juanmi.
“It was a handball. It was not accidental,” he said.
Responding to Scholes, Hargreaves added: “Yeah, he actually meant it. Look where his arm goes. He almost goes to catch it with one arm.
“Even if you were playing with your mates in a training game in a park, you would say handball.”
Scholes continued: “If you look closely, I think it touches his arm first anyway. It’s arm onto chest. But these rules are stupid, aren’t they?
“A handball is handball. It led to a goal and it should have been disallowed.”
Ending off the argument, Hargreaves said: “These laws, the way they are written is getting ridiculous.”
Featured Image Credit: BT Sport/Twitter
Topics: Paul Scholes, Manchester United, Real Betis, Europa League, Football