By Gabriel Agbonlahor

16th Sep, 2022 | 8:00am

Agbonlahor hits out at officials amid new Lisandro Martinez controversy at Man United

Gabby Agbonlahor has insisted “anyone who understands football” would not have penalised Man United star Lisandro Martinez for handling inside the 18-yard box.

The former Aston Villa striker was speaking exclusively to Football Insider amid the fallout from the Red Devils’ 1-0 home loss against Real Sociedad in the Europa League (8 September).

As shown on the highlights on BT Sport’s YouTube channel (10 September), Martinez was penalised after blocking a David Silva shot from close range.

The ball appeared to ricochet off the defender’s leg and onto his arm.

VAR took a second look at the incident but chose not to overturn the penalty.

Speaking to Football Insider (12 September), ex-Premier League referee Keith Hackett insisted the Red Devils have “every right to feel aggrieved” by the decision and called for the handball laws to be ripped up and rewritten.

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Agbonlahor insisted the “problem” with VAR remains that “subjective” decisions are being analysed by fellow referees.

He told Football Insider’s Connor Whitley: “I think it was a strange decision.

“If he was standing still and didn’t move, closed his eyes, and then the ball his arm – that would be a penalty.

“He’s jumped into a block and the ball has hit his arm off his leg, which was by his side.  

“For me, the problem we’ve now got with VAR is that it’s a person’s decision. It’s not a computer.

“It’s not a robot giving a decision – it’s another referee with a view of the subjective incident. It’s just silly.

“Anyone who understands football would not have given that as a penalty.

“This incident has gone under the radar but it could be something that everyone looks back at in a few days.”

In other news, expert shares new injury “worry” for Man United star Luke Shaw as “major” announcement looms.