Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag on Casemiro's red card against Crystal Palace: "Casemiro is protecting our player, and protecting the player, holding him back. If Casemiro should have been sent off, many more players should have been sent off."
Sunday 5 February 2023 18:42, UK
Erik ten Hag said "many more players" should have been sent off in comparison to Casemiro's red card in their win over Crystal Palace.
The Man Utd manager watched his midfield lynchpin ruled out for the next three games after a VAR review saw him sent off for violent conduct 20 minutes from the end of the Old Trafford victory on Saturday.
Casemiro's case was reviewed after VAR official Tony Harrington noticed his hands around Will Hughes' neck during a 20-man brawl - but footage showing Jordan Ayew appearing to do similar to Fred in the melee was not deemed enough for any punishment.
The incident was sparked by a late challenge on Antony by Jeffrey Schlupp, shoving him into the advertising hoardings with the force of his movement.
Following Casemiro's dismissal, United's 2-0 lead was soon put under real pressure with Schlupp pulling a goal back, and Palace missing multiple chances to rescue a late draw from Old Trafford.
Ten Hag told reporters: "The player from Crystal Palace takes a big risk. Antony could be badly injured by pushing him across the line. Then everyone reacts - our players and their players.
"Casemiro is protecting our player, and protecting the player [Hughes], holding him back. If Casemiro should have been sent off, many more players should have been sent off.
"We get some warnings about our team reacting like this. You have to do it, you have to protect each other, but we want to keep our standards and values at Man Utd. You can't cross lines, but you have to stick together. We have to stand up for each other."
When asked whether Ayew should have seen red, he added: "Definitely.
"You have to be consistent as a VAR. Last week we missed Eriksen, no intervention from VAR. Martinez was running for two weeks with a bump on his eyebrow after Mateta elbowed him [in the reverse fixture]. This isn't right."
Palace manager Patrick Vieira could not extend his unbeaten record against United to three games as the Eagles' poor form continued.
He was left optimistic about their performance after running the Champions League-chasing hosts so close, but said his side need to be more clinical in front of goal to improve their situation.
"We need to score more goals to allow ourselves to win games. That's something we have to improve," he said.
"We had situations inside the box through Mateta and Eze, but it wasn't consistent, that kind of dominance, when we were 11 against 10.
"There was a bit of frustration, I think we have a little bit of better decision-making and quality where we could've scored that second goal.
"It's composure, that's part of making the decision in the final third."
Vieira said he had not seen the incident leading to Casemiro's red card first-hand, but suggested the Brazilian had gone looking for trouble ahead of his dismissal.
He told Sky Sports: "I didn't see the red card, I was far from it. The game has to be played with respect, and sometimes when you don't respect your opponent, things can happen.
"The player from United was looking for it, and he created this situation. But it's about remaining calm, concentrate on what you want to do, and I was pleased with the character we showed today."