How about that for an ending? Manchester United have emerged from Paris with the most unlikely of victories, and it certainly wasn't without drama.
With PSG looking like hanging on and advancing despite a shocking performance at home, the tie would be slipped on its head with the awarding of a late penalty to the visitors. A shot from Diogo Dalot seemed to hit the arm of Presnel Kimpembe before being deflected away from goal.
Upon viewing the replay it seemed clear that the ball did indeed hit his arm, but was it sufficient enough to give a penalty? The referee would would consult VAR in order to decide.
— Virgin Media Sport (@VMSportIE) March 6, 2019
Pure drama. Not only did it take an absolute age for the spot kick to be given, but the decision is a highly contentious. Could Kimpembe really have gotten out of the way of that one? VAR was introduced in order to rectify obvious errors, but this certainly did not fit that criteria.
The decision was marginal at best, and PSG could feel slightly hard done by. Football fans seemed unison in their contempt at football's latest technological innovation:
That VAR penalty call uefa's belated idea of financial fair play sanctioning on PSG
— Mark Lovell (@LovellLowdown) March 6, 2019
— The Pride of London (@PrideOLondon) March 6, 2019
— Alastair Kirby (@statto1874) March 6, 2019
Goal 1: Lukaku given the ball by PSG.
Goal 2: Buffon gives the ball to Lukaku.
Goal 3: Ludicrous VAR decision.
No one can deny, Man Utd are the luckiest team ever. This is beyond comical. 😂😂😂 #PSGMNU
— Jake Heasman (@jakeheasman) March 6, 2019
PSG awful, United really impressive. But VAR has ruined this with another long decision which is still debatable meaning it shouldn't really be given...
— Cameron (@lawseyitfc) March 6, 2019
VAR for subjective calls remains an absolute mess.
— Daniel Storey (@danielstorey85) March 6, 2019
Hard to imagine how seething you’d be if that VAR went against you.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHayYEP) March 6, 2019
Football is finished if that's the kind of decision we see from VAR replays
— Bergkamp & Bergkamp (@Orangeiceman10) March 6, 2019
THAT WAS 100% NEVER A PENALTY BTW VAR IS AN ABOMINATION BUT BY GOD WHO CARES
— Muhammad Butt (@muhammadbutt) March 6, 2019
One thing is for sure… Things always look worse in slow motion. #VAR
— Joe Crann (@YesWeCrann) March 6, 2019
Despite a heroic win from Manchester United, the focus in tomorrow's papers will almost certainly be on VAR. While it works in the vast majority of cases, critics of the technology are quick to jump on any borderline cases such as this.
For United, you can't argue they didn't deserve this result, even if it came in fortuitous circumstances. Rashford did well to tuck away the penalty under massive pressure, and despite some mind games and delaying tactics from the PSG players.
This is just the latest example of a collapse from the French champions in Europe, and you must start to question if they will ever have the mentality to be a top side in European competition. Neymar or no Neymar, this was nowhere near good enough.