Manchester United match-winner Ander Herrera thinks referee Bobby Madley was correct not to award a handball against him in the build-up to his side’s opening goal in the victory over Chelsea.
The Spain midfielder set up Marcus Rashford’s goal with a magnificent throughball after seven minutes, before going on to score with a deflected effort after the break as United beat the Premier League leaders 2-0 at Old Trafford.
Chelsea were furious Herrera was not penalised for a handball when he intercepted Nemanja Matic’s pass prior to setting up Rashford, but he feels his action was not deliberate, meaning the right call was made.
“I didn’t want to touch the ball with the hand,” Herrera said to Sky Sports after Sunday’s game.
“I was running with my arms next to my body. I don’t know if the ball touched my hand or not but it was not my intention.
“In football I think if you don’t have the intention to touch the ball and you have your arms in a natural position it is not handball.”
2 – Ander Herrera has scored and assisted in the same Premier League game for the first time since October 2015 vs Everton. Imposing.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 16, 2017
Herrera was delighted with United’s performance, a win that sees them move up to fifth in the table and within four points of Manchester City above them, with a game in hand.
“It was almost perfect,” said Herrera, who was sent off when United lost to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the FA Cup last month.
“You always have some things to improve but defensively it was perfect. They are top of the table and they didn’t create any chances.
“We hurt them on the counter-attack, we played football, controlled the game and moved the ball really well, so we can be very happy.”
On scoring his first league goal for 14 months, he added: “I have been looking for a goal for a long time – always something happened, crossbar, big saves from the keeper. I was a bit lucky this time!
“But we created more chances than them and we deserved this victory.”
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