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Shocking VAR review penalty helps Manchester United beat PSG in Champions League

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Penalties don’t get much more harsh than this.

Paris Saint-Germain v Manchester United - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: Second Leg Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Manchester United have shockingly defeated Paris Saint-Germain to make the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals — progressing on the away goals tiebreaker after a 3-3 aggregate draw — thanks to a stunning VAR decision that handed them a penalty in stoppage time.

A hopeful shot by Diego Dalot hit the arm of Presnel Kimpembe and bounced out for a corner, a result that everyone seemed OK with. But the referee went to the VAR stand to make sure, and came back with a shocking decision.

There’s no question that the ball hit Kimpembe’s arm in the penalty area. But with his back turned, his arm in a natural position, and no attempt by him to play the ball with his arm, it’s not a penalty most officials would give. PSG are going to be furious, and you’ll probably see UEFA forced to issue an explanation of whether or not the ref applied the rules properly.

Marcus Rashford was the one who stepped up to the spot for United, and he delivered the game-winner with a perfect penalty.

While PSG will feel conned by the decision to give United a penalty, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves for not winning the match outright well beforehand. Injuries forced United to start a lineup they hadn’t used all season, featuring bit-part players like Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, and Fred. Central defender Eric Bailly had to play at right back and made numerous mistakes before he was substituted in the first half. PSG shouldn’t have had a problem scoring multiple goals.

Instead, the most clinical finisher on the field was Romelu Lukaku, who scored two goals to give United the chance for that controversial penalty to be a game-winner. Lukaku pounced on a mistake in the second minute, then did excellently to round Gianluigi Buffon and finish from a tight angle.

PSG responded with a goal by Juan Bernat, but Lukaku got his second in the 30th minute, finding himself in the right place at the right time when Buffon spilled a shot by Rashford.

And now United, despite all of their injuries and their 2-0 loss at Old Trafford in the first leg, are heading to the Champions League quarterfinals. And as much as PSG will focus on the penalty decision, they really have no one to blame but themselves.