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With Manchester United being held to a goalless draw by Southampton at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday night, the highlight of the game was Brazil midfielder Casemiro’s red card in the game. Erik ten Hag’s team were playing in front of the home crowd after a heavy 0-7 thrashing by Liverpool at Anfield and missed their chances to score against Southampton’s red card post Casemiro.
In the 34th minute of the game. The studs of Casemiro’s right boot struck the ball first before it rolled over the brilliant Carlos Alcaraz of Southampton in a defensive move and Casemiro was initially booked. The VAR later called Brazil’s side of the field and awarded it as a red card. This led to a nearly tearful Casemiro exchanging hugs with Alcaraz with Manchester United players and coaching staff in disbelief at the decision. “What I think is [about] the inconsistency – players no longer know what the policy is and we see it with the Premier League yesterday, Leicester-Chelsea [two penalty appeals]the VAR does not come on the line [intervening], today it’s getting on track.” Ten Hag said after the game.
This was the Brazilian’s second red card in eight games this season and the Brazilian had never received a red card in his career during his time with Real Madrid and Porto. The Manchester United manager was also critical of the fact that VAR was not interested in his side’s two first-half penalty appeals. The first case was a challenge by Southampton’s Kyle Walkers-Peters on Bruno Fernandes and the second was a handball by Southampton player Armel Bella-Kotchap. “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’s the policy?” Ten Hag said further.
The Dutchman also called the referees in the Premier League ‘inconsistent’ calling the decision controversial. Casemiro was earlier shown a red card during Manchester United’s draw against Crystal Palace in January. “It is inconsistent, the referees come 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 hard but he’s fair. In the same way as against Crystal Palace, so it’s very controversial,” said Ten Hag.
He also found that the freeze framing was a problem in Var and encouraged the referees to be more consistent in their decisions. “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 he shows up over 500 games in the big leagues and was never sent off. It is disappointing. Freeze framing is definitely a problem. If you do it this way you have to be consistent across every game. It’s a bit the same as against Crystal Palace: when you saw the incident you should have sent off three or four players and not just one if you’re very consistent,” said the manager .