'Casemiro played over 500 games in Europe & never once got a red card!' - Erik ten Hag insists Man Utd's draw with Southampton 'was influenced by the referee'
- Casemiro sent off in first half
- Midfielder has two red cards for United
- Ten Hag and De Gea spoke out
WHAT HAPPENED? The midfielder was shown a red card for a foul on Carlos Alcaraz in the first half of the goalless draw at Old Trafford on Sunday. The Brazil international had to be consoled by his team-mates as he was ordered off the field and Ten Hag has come to his defence in the wake of the match.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "Casemiro played over 500 games in Europe and never once got a red card. Now he has two in the Premier League," he said to Sky Sports. "His absence is not the issue. We will deal with that. This game was influenced by the referee."
The United boss added in his post-match press conference: "Everyone knows something about football – when you freeze it looks bad, but everyone knows something knows what is bad. Casemiro is a really fair player, tough but fair."
Ten Hag also felt United were denied a clear penalty in the first half after Armel Bella-Kotchap handled a cross from Marcus Rashford in the box, with the referee waving play on after a VAR check.
"What I think is the inconsistency, players don’t know anymore what is the policy," he said when quizzed on the decision. "I think it is all across you see this weekend yesterday Leicester Chelsea VAR not coming on the line today it is coming on the line and today two pen situations they don’t come on the line. I think it is clear and obvious handball so what is the policy."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Casemiro has been sent off twice in the last month, having first being red carded against Crystal Palace in February. He now has as many red cards at United as he received during his nine years at Real Madrid.
As well as Ten Hag, team-mate David de Gea came to his defence, saying: "I think Casemiro was unlucky. He tried to touch the ball and his foot came up high. I think the referees need to show more consistency. Sometimes they show a red card and sometimes they don't. "It's going to be tough, he's a big player. We will miss him for four games but we have a big squad. We have players coming from the bench who do well. We will keep working hard."
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WHAT NEXT FOR UNITED? The Red Devils are in action again on Thursday when they take on Real Betis in the Europa League. United have a 4-1 lead from the first leg of the last-16 tie.