Ten Hag questions VAR after Casemiro red card as he believes some players got off lightly

Erik ten Hag of Man Utd Credit: Alamy
Erik ten Hag of Man Utd Credit: Alamy

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag questioned VAR for a decision that built up to Casemiro being sent off, stating he would like the system to be “more consistent”.

Man Utd took the lead early on after being given a penalty when Will Hughes was adjudged to have handled in the box. Bruno Fernandes stepped up and calmly finished into the bottom corner.

After going into the break 1-0 up, Marcus Rashford doubled Man Utd’s lead in the 62nd minute. Casemiro and Fernandes did well on the edge of the box before Luke Shaw received the ball. He put a good cross in and Rashford cleverly slotted home.

Things were going excellently for the hosts until Casemiro was sent off for violent conduct. Following a clash between Jeffrey Schlupp and Antony, Casemiro had both his hands around Will Hughes’ throat.

The referee did not see it at the time amid a tussle between the two teams, but after a VAR review Casemiro was dismissed.

Ten Hag was given a scare when Schlupp got one back for Palace. Man Utd dealt with the initial corner but then new Palace signing Naouirou Ahamada sent the ball back into a dangerous area. Schlupp did well to flick the ball past David de Gea and into the net.

Man Utd held on for the victory though, to make it four wins on the bounce in all competitions. The win also took them past Newcastle United and into third place for the time being.

During a post-match interview with BBC Sport, Ten Hag said: “The first 70 minutes was all ours, we dominated the game. A big compliment for the team, we played with a lot of energy and really well in possession and defence transition. In the last 20 minutes we showed we can fight and have team spirit.”

Ten Hag questions VAR after Casemiro red card

The game was dominated by one moment: the Casemiro red card. The dismissal came after a scuffle which included a good deal of both team’s players.

The United manager condemned his midfielder’s actions and felt he was rightly sent off.

“Such things must not happen on the pitch. It starts with a bad foul. He could have injured the player. It is a big risk. It is emotions getting up and both sides, this happens a lot with players pushing each other and also protecting each other,” he said.

“Casemiro was protecting the player to go into attack. Obviously he is sent off and we are totally unhappy with that situation. He takes a risk, we all see that. He can’t get away with that.”

However, Ten Hag has questioned why Casemiro was the only player sent off, asking questions of the VAR process.

“But for me it is the inconsistency. At Palace two weeks ago there was an elbow and VAR is not interfering. And in this situation he could have sent off more players. Be consistent and everyone who crosses the line is sent off, not just one player.”

While the boss thought Casemiro was rightly sent off, it seems he was happy with him standing up for his teammate.

“It is hard when a team-mate can get injured. Like last week, we lose Christian Eriksen to a really bad foul. The team stand for each other and you need that to get results and be successful.”

Beyond the big moment, Ten Hag was pleased with his team’s performance. He also hailed Marcel Sabitzer for and impressive debut, despite only featuring for a few minutes.

“He came in, he played really well. He understands the game and it is good to see.”

Meanwhile, Man Utd could sign a ‘complete’ Argentine striker in the summer, according to a report.

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