Forest coach Cooper expresses disappointment over Maguire’s handball going unpunished.

    Nottingham Forest head coach Steve Cooper called the decision not to give his team a penalty against Manchester United “a really bad mistake”.

    United won 2-0 at the City Ground on Sunday thanks to goals from Anthony and Diogo Dalot, but not before they escaped the handball cry and the game was still scoreless.

    Forest’s corner in the 19th minute hit the outstretched hand of Harry Maguire, who had already received a warning, into the far post, and the hosts immediately turned to referee Simon Hooper for a penalty.

    After consulting VAR, Hooper dismissed the claims.

    “Personally, I think it’s a penalty,” Cooper told Sky Sports after the game. “This is a very, very serious mistake.

    “The referee needs to see it, but I understand why he didn’t because of the angle and the number of players. And that’s why there is no VAR, in my opinion, wrong.

    “This is another point that will bring a lot of attention to VAR. A lot of negative decisions have been made in the past few weeks, and this is another one.

    “I’m not going to stand here and say that’s the reason we didn’t win the game, although it could have been Maguire’s second yellow and red and we could have scored a penalty and gone 1-0 ahead.

    “It has a big impact, I’m really biting my tongue because I don’t want to use this as an excuse for why we lost the game or why we are in the league position we are in; is not.

    “But this is a serious mistake. How [VAR] Andy Madeley didn’t see what to look for.”

    The incident comes just a week after a string of dubious officials’ decisions in Tottenham’s 2-1 win over Brighton & Hove Albion, after which the PGMOL refereeing board issued an apology to the Seagulls.

    Forest remains in the Premier League relegation zone on goal difference behind Everton in 17th place and has already gone 10 games without a win.

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