Man United FC

Erik ten Hag furious with referee ‘inconsistencies’ as he defends Casemiro red card in Man Utd 0-0 Southampton

Erik ten Hag expressed his dissatisfaction with Premier League referees once more after Casemiro was sent off in Manchester United's 0-0 draw with Southampton on Sunday.

Anthony Taylor’s decision to dismiss Casemiro for a lunge on Carlos Alcaraz near the conclusion of the first half decided the game, with the referee initially displaying a yellow card before upgrading it to red after consulting the pitchside monitor.

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Armel Bella-Kotchap went unpunished after the ball touched his arm in the box, with Taylor and the VAR officials in Stockley Park both believing it was not deserving of a penalty. Marcus Rashford had a milder claim rejected down in the second period after being barely touched inside the area by Gavin Bazunu.

Ten Hag was dissatisfied with the officials’ performance and expressed his displeasure after the game. “What I think is the inconsistency, is players don’t know what the policy is anymore,” he explained. “I think, all throughout, you see this weekend yesterday Leicester vs Chelsea, VAR is not coming on the line.

“Now it’s on the line, and today two penalty situations don’t come on the line. I believe the first is a blatant and evident handball. So, what exactly is the policy?

Casemiro has been sent off twice for United this season, with the former Real Madrid star also being sent off against Crystal Palace in February. Ten Hag also lamented the lack of consistency at the time and believes Casemiro has been unfairly punished as a result of the refereeing standards, with the Brazilian being sidelined for the next four domestic matches.

“There’s another one who is inconsistent. The referees are arriving at the start of the season with a policy: ‘We are Premier League, we are going strong and want intensity’.

“Casemiro is across European leagues in almost 500 games – he never received a red card and now he has twice [been sent off]. He is tough, yet he is fair. He is also playing fairly in this. Crystal Palace was also up against. It is highly debatable.

“It looks horrible when you freeze,” Ten Hag said of his dismissal against Southampton. “But, everybody who knows anything about football knows what is wrong and what is fair. Casemiro is a very fair player who is tough but fair. Almost 500 games in the big leagues, never sent off.

“When you act like way, you have to be consistent across all games and all decisions. They have now isolated one. Similar to the game versus Crystal Palace. When you display that occurrence, you should have sent off three, or four players instead of just one.”

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