Man Utd and Man City Old Trafford tunnel spat: What happened & who was involved?

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We explain what happened in the tunnel after Manchester United’s win over Manchester City.

Manchester United beat Manchester City on Saturday in a highly emotional Manchester derby.

The visitors had gone one goal ahead at Old Trafford thanks to Jack Grealish’s second-half header, before United turned things around with two goals in four minutes to take all three points. But it was Bruno Fernandes’ equaliser that was so controversial, with the Portugal forward scoring despite Marcus Rashford being in an offside position in the build-up.

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The United no.10 then grabbed the winner from Alejandro Garnacho’s cross to make it 2-1 in the 82nd minute. Erik ten Hag’s men held onto the victory despite City pushing to get back on level terms, although they failed to create a clear opening after going behind.

There were emotional scenes after the full-time whistle as several City players surrounded the match officials, with Jack Grealish in particular venting his frustrations at the referee and his assistants. Those disagreements continued down the tunnel and there was a minor altercation between the group of players.

What happened?

ManchesterWorld has been told that the incident which occurred in the Old Trafford was little more than a verbal exchange, with no scuffles or any form of physical confrontation between the two sets of players.

The City players repeatedly expressed their disappointment with the officials at the decision to allow Fernandes’ goal to stand, while explaining, in their view, that it changed the course of the game.

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Who was involved?

Speaking in a post-match video on Twitter, reporter Jan Aage Fjortoft named three of those involved in the post-match shenanigans. “Seeing it and witnessing it, that is what normally happens [in the tunnel],” the Norwegian said.

“Jack Grealish was very, I wouldn’t say aggressive, just disappointed at not getting a point at Old Trafford. Then Harry Maguire and Pep Guardiola were talking a bit.”

Manuel Akanji also revealed in a post-match interview that he was among the players who verbalised his frustrations in the tunnel. “I came really late to it [in the tunnel]. When I was there it was close to the end,” he said in an interview with Viaplay.

Grealish was livid with the officials after the game. Credit: Getty.Grealish was livid with the officials after the game. Credit: Getty.
Grealish was livid with the officials after the game. Credit: Getty.

“I don’t know how it started or what was the actual reason for it, but everybody was not in a good mood. United were in a good mood and we weren’t in a good mood after a game like this. It is good that nothing more happened and it kind of finished in peace.”

The Daily Mail also claim Kyle Walker was involved.

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Why was Fernandes’ goal controversial?

The equalising strike was a particular point of controversy as Casemiro’s long ball was initially played to Rashford, who was evidently offside even before replays confirmed his starting position.

The United attacker ran towards the ball and then checked his stride and ran alongside it, but didn’t actually touch the ball. Yet Rashford’s movement appeared to impact Akanji, who was preoccupied with the England international’s run.

The ball ultimately ran through to Bruno Fernandes, who wasn’t offside, and he calmly placed his shot past Ederson and into the back of the City net. The referee’s assistant initially flagged the goal as offside, before a VAR check determined that Rashford had not interfered with play and ruled it should stand.

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