Manchester United were held to a 0-0 stalemate by Southampton at Old Trafford yesterday.
The Premier League game was dominated by controversial decisions made by the referee Anthony Taylor, including a straight red card shown to Casemiro.
The Red Devils had to play an hour with a man down but managed to keep Southampton at bay.
Both sides have enough chances to break the deadlock but failed to do so. Bruno Fernandes, Kyle Walker-Peters and James Ward-Prowse went closest to scoring but their efforts rebounded off the goal frame.
Here is what we made of this game.
Casemiro sees red, again
Casemiro made a sliding tackle to win the ball but his follow-through took Carlos Alcaraz out. The referee was quick to brandish a yellow card to the former Real Madrid midfielder.
VAR intervened and after looking at the monitor, Anthony Taylor gave Casemiro his marching orders.
The tackle was studs first and high on the leg. However, he made contact with the ball first. A yellow card would have been enough, but giving a red card was super harsh from the officials.
Andre Marriner was overlooking the VAR duties, and he deemed the tackle worthy of a red card. Yesterday, he officiated the clash between Chelsea and Leicester City.
Ricardo Pereira stamped strongly on Joao Felix’s ankle in a very ugly-looking challenge. However, Marriner didn’t even bother to show a yellow card to the defender. Talk about inconsistency.
Anthony Taylor made the game about himself
Casemiro’s red card was not the only poor decision Taylor made this evening. He denied United a stonewall penalty when Armel Bella-Kotchap lost his balance and used his arms to obstruct the ball.
The handball was as clear as day but neither the referee nor the VAR looked interested in doing justice to United.
Alejandro Garnacho was met with a robust challenge by Kyle Walker-Peters in the last few minutes of the game. The defender won the ball but his follow-through became a scissor tackle on Garnacho’s trailing leg.
This time the referee gave preference to the first contact. This poor level of officiating has no place in the best league in the world. The referees should be held accountable for their disastrous calls.
On Saturday we discussed the five incidents where Man United suffered from refereeing howlers. If we had waited another day, Taylor would be the central point of that article.
Manchester United losing steam in the Premier League
After today’s draw, the Red Devils have just two more points than fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur. United have a game in hand but their recent Premier League form has not been great.
In the last five league games, they have drawn two against Leeds United and Southampton and lost against Liverpool). Newcastle United and Liverpool are also vying for a top-four finish.
Man United are still in a strong position, but they have to win a few games to avoid any possible risk of dropping out of the Champions League spots.
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