EPL

Ten Hag accepts Casemiro 'crossed the line' but laments decision not to punish Palace players

By Sports Desk February 04, 2023

Erik ten Hag conceded that Casemiro "crossed the line" as he was sent off in Manchester United's nervy 2-1 Premier League win over Crystal Palace, but the Dutchman believes a number of Eagles players got off lightly.

A Bruno Fernandes penalty and yet another goal from the in-form Marcus Rashford put United 2-0 up, but Casemiro was dismissed following a VAR review after he put his hands around Will Hughes' neck during an altercation between both sets of players, sparked by Jeffrey Schlupp's push on Antony. 

Schlupp then set up a tense finale with a goal 14 minutes from time, but United held on for a 13th straight home win in all competitions – their longest run at Old Trafford since they won 20 in a row between December 2010 and September 2011.

Ten Hag had no complaints with the decision to dismiss Brazil international Casemiro, who will now miss United's next three league games, but the former Ajax boss thought some Palace players, notably Jordan Ayew, should also have been punished. 

"We played a brilliant game and it was a really high level first 70 minutes until the incident took place and then you see this team stands for each other," he said.

"It's such a good spirit in the team and they don't accept when a player from us can be badly injured and that's the way Antony got treated.

"This team sticks together but, of course, you have to control your emotions. But it's really difficult in such a moment and I see two teams fighting each other.

"I see two teams of players crossing the line and then one player gets picked out, gets sent off. And for me, that's not right.

"The player from Crystal Palace takes a big risk with this foul that he gets badly injured by pushing him across the line and you know the pitches here. And then everyone is reacting, Crystal Palace and Manchester United players, and not only Casemiro.

"He [Ayew] was one of the players who did even worse than Casemiro. Casemiro, you freeze the moment, I think within the shot he's crossed the line there, I do definitely. And you have to be consistent as a VAR.

"Players and colleagues are hurting each other that bad like the player last week [Reading's Andy Carroll] did against Christian Eriksen and the player from Crystal Palace [Schlupp]; he started this, he took a big risk by injuring Antony."

United are back in action again on Wednesday when Leeds United visit Old Trafford, before the Red Devils travel to Yorkshire for the reverse fixture just four days later. 

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