Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the controversial new handball rule has been a key factor in the strange start to the new Premier League season.
There has been a proliferation of penalties awarded even though the player clearly had no intention to handle the ball, sparking a chorus of criticism led by Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson and Newcastle’s Steve Bruce.
United were involved in a bizarre incident at Brighton on Saturday when Neal Maupay was penalised for handball after referee Chris Kavanagh had blown for full-time, giving Bruno Fernandes the chance to score the winner from the spot in the 100th minute.
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes ‘football has changed’ in recent times
It followed a dubious handball decision against Victor Lindelof in United’s opening defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
Ahead of his team’s return to Brighton in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday night, Solskjaer said: ‘It’s a whole spectre of things that aren’t normal.
‘I think football has changed. There are no fans, it’s a different game, pre-season we were at different stages, and the new handball rule.
‘You never know what’s going to happen. You can discuss it all day long, but we need some clarity on what’s a penalty.
United scraped past Brighton after being awarded a penalty after the final whistle was blown
Newcastle won a controversial last-gasp penalty after Andy Carroll’s header struck Eric Dier
‘Now it looks like you can chip the ball up into someone’s hand like what happened to us against Palace for example and Victor got a penalty against him.
‘Then the header against Tottenham. He (Eric Dier) has got no idea the ball hits him. You see the goals scored (by Chelsea) against West Brom at the end, is that not handball? We need to get that clarity.
‘There have been so many changes and nuances to different rules. Back in the day, it seemed simpler.’
Roy Hodgson was seething after Palace were the victims of a controversial handball decision