Manchester United recieved a huge blow on Sunday against Southampton. The result ended in a goalless draw. However, they ended up- losing more than just two points as midfielder Casemiro was shown a red card in the 34th minute of the game. After receiving his second red card of the season, Casemiro will be out for four games. With Casemiro out of the action, Manchester United’s quadruple dream is slowly slipping out from their palms, just like sand slips out between the spaces of our hands. After the red card incident, United desperately clung on to their remaining 10 players to pull out a victory. Signs of shock and realization were clearly visible in the entire Old Trafford Stadium.
Manchester United’s manager Erik Ten Hag’s look of disbelief said it all in the end. In the post-match conference, Ten Hag openly was quite vocal about the decision. He said, “Casemiro played over 500 games in Europe and never once got a red card. Now he has two in the Premier League. His absence is not the issue, we will deal with that. This game was influenced by the referee,” Erik Ten Hag said. “Everyone who knows something about football, you know, and of course, when you freeze it, it looks bad. But everyone who knows something about football, who was acting on top football, they know what is bad, what isn’t bad and what is fair. And I tell you: Casemiro is a really fair player, tough but fair,” Ten Hag continued.
For the past few years, referees have been a bit more conscious about the way a player challenges the opposition to reclaim the ball. When players won the ball with a side tackle and ended up hurting the other player it was not often deemed as a foul. But now follow through has become a major factor in influencing the decision of the referee. Casemiro became the victim of follow-through. He won the ball but his challenge caught Alcaraz on his shins. Even though there was no malicious intent hiding behind the challenge, he still had to leave the pitch. Casemiro was the missing piece of Man Utd’s incomplete squad. But, now without him, Fred and Scott McTominay will need to step up step up to the task. Their next four games in the Premier League will be against Fulham, Newcastle, Brentford and Everton.