Referee Martin Atkinson was informed by VAR that De Gea’s teammate, Fred, had stepped on his foot and therefore the goal could stand - with former Premier League stars Paul Scholes and Ian Wright no fans of the Spaniard’s claim.
“That’s embarrassing. You protect your goal, you do anything to stop a goal,” Scholes stated.
“To turn away, to not even look, there’s clearly nothing wrong with him. He’s done himself. De Gea should be there, protecting his goal at all times. It doesn’t look that bad to me. The goal had to stand.”
Ex-Arsenal star Wright was convinced that De Gea was not truly hurt by the collision.
“When you see David De Gea after the goal, he’s so incensed that he sprints after the referee,” he said.
“My problem with that is there’s not enough seriously wrong with him to go down. For me, that’s embarrassing.
“De Gea should be getting up after that to try to save it and then go down after if there is something wrong with you.
— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) December 2, 2021
Michael Carrick appeared to be unhappy with the incident although the outgoing United caretaker was able to overlook the goal as his side came out 3-2 winners.
“At least I don’t have to talk too much about the Arsenal goal because we could have been here all night,” Carrick joked. “If it had been the winning goal it would have been a different conversation. Very strange.”
United players remonstrated with Atkinson after the goal was confirmed and Bruno Fernandes described his surprise at the goal being given.
“Normally when the keeper goes down, we should stop the game but mistakes happen,” noted the midfielder. “I don’t know if the referee made a mistake but we have to carry on.”