Casemiro red card stalls Manchester United in draw against Southampton


Erik ten Hag branded the officiating during Manchester United’s goalless draw with Southampton as “inconsistent” after Casemiro was sent off early on in the contest, which subsequently means the midfielder missing four domestic matches.

Anthony Taylor made the decisions after being requested by the VAR to check the pitchside monitor having initially given Casemiro a yellow for a challenge on Carlos Alcaraz. Casemiro’s studs took the ball then connected with the player’s shin. It was the 31-year-old Brazilian’s second red card in eight matches after previously never receiving one during his time at Real Madrid and Porto.

“What I think is [about]the inconsistency – players don’t know anymore what is the policy and we see it with Premier League yesterday,” said Ten Hag. “Leicester-Chelsea [two penalty appeals], the VAR is not coming on the line [intervening], today it’s coming on the line.”

The Dutchman was also aggrieved that the VAR was not interested in two first-half United penalty appeals – for a Kyle Walker-Peters challenge on Bruno Fernandes and for an apparent handball by Armel Bella-Kotchap. Ten Hag said: “Then it’s two penalty situations, but they don’t come on the line, especially the first one was a clear and obvious handball so what is the policy?”

While Ten Hag is not sure if United will appeal Casemiro’s dismissal he also pointed to the yellow card the player was shown in the draw at Crystal Palace in January which triggered a one-game suspension. “It is inconsistent, the referees are coming at the start of the season with a policy: we are the Premier League, we want intensity and Casemiro, across European games, over 500, he never had a red card but now, twice. He plays tough but he’s fair. Same as against Crystal Palace, so it’s very debatable.

“When you freeze it [today’s challenge], it looks bad. Everyone who knows something about football knows what is bad, what is fair and Casemiro is a fair player. Tough, but fair and it shows over 500 games in big leagues and he was never sent off. He’s disappointed.

“Definitely freeze framing is an issue. If you do it like this you have to be consistent across all games. It’s a little bit the same as against Crystal Palace: when you saw the incident you should then have sent off three or four players and not only one if you’re really consistent.”

Casemiro will miss Fulham’s visit in the FA Cup on Sunday and the league matches with Newcastle, Brentford and Everton.

Meanwhile Alejandro Garnacho, who came on as a replacement, was pictured leaving Old Trafford in a protective boot. “I think it’s not too bad,” said Ten Hag.