Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana believes referee Simon Hooper and VAR were right not to award Wolves a last-gasp penalty in Monday night’s Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
United opened their league account for the season in unconvincing fashion as Raphael Varane’s header 14 minutes from time was enough to earn a 1-0 victory that was barely deserved.
Indeed, it looked like Wolves might get the chance to equalise from the penalty spot at the death when debutant Onana appeared to clatter into Sasa Kalajdzic, but the goalkeeper got away with it.
Wolves boss Gary O’Neil said Onana tried “to take the centre-forward’s head off” and claimed Premier League referees’ boss Jon Moss apologised to him for the decision after the match.
But asked if it was a penalty, Onana said: “No, goalkeepers make decisions, sometimes you are right, sometimes you are not.
“I made a decision and I am responsible for everything. For me it was contact between two big guys and nothing happened. But for us, the most important thing was to win and I am happy for the victory.
“Of course I was confident (it would not be given).”
Onana made his Premier League debut following his summer move from Inter Milan.
The Cameroon international, who worked with Erik Ten Hag at Ajax, has big boots to fill following on from David De Gea, and his style differs greatly from the Spaniard as he likes the ball at his feet.
But he insists it is a case of him adapting to his new surroundings rather than the United defence changing their game.
“Listen, I think I’m playing with some of the best defenders in the world because playing for Manchester United is not something easy,” he said.
“I think I’m the one who has to adapt because United is a very big club and I’m proud to be able to perform here and proud to play alongside these defenders and if something has to change, I think we will do it.
“At the moment everything is going right and we just have to continue working like this and I think it will be OK by the end of the season.”
Few will have seen a performance like this coming from Wolves, whose plans for the season were thrown into disarray last week when boss Julen Lopetegui left, just five days before their opener, with O’Neil coming in.
O’Neil, who was sacked at Bournemouth after keeping them in the English top flight last season, will have been thrilled at what he saw as his new side put in a slick counter-attacking display that had United on the run for the majority of the game.
But old failings returned as they could not score with any of the 23 shots they had, which will have brought back memories from last season, where they registered just 31 times.
“I think we keep doing more like today,” O’Neil said. “My initial thoughts around them not scoring enough goals last year was, we need to arrive in good areas, with good numbers more.
“We have enough talent in the group so if we arrive in good numbers, the boys will score goals, no doubt.
“I don’t think today was a reoccurrence of the pattern you saw last year. I think if the lads play that game 100 times, they score in 99 of them.
“Keep arriving in those areas, keep working with the players to improve understanding and how many times we arrive and the lads will score some goals.”