The Football Association has overturned Jan Bednarek’s red card against Manchester United upon appeal.
The Southampton defender was sent off after referee Mike Dean consulted his on-field monitor, judging the centre-back deliberately brought down Anthony Martial in the area for a penalty kick.
The Saints were already trailing by seven goals after being reduced to ten men since the second minute before Dean gave Bednarek his marching orders and Bruno Fernandes scored from the spot.
Daniel James then added United’s ninth in stoppage time equal their highest-ever Premier League victory.
The decision received plenty of scrutiny in the media after VAR’s intervention, ordering Dean to address the monitor after he had already pointed to the spot.
The FA, though, have overruled the suspension, meaning Bednarek is now free to play in Southampton’s match against Newcastle United.
A statement released by the FA reads: “Jan Bednarek will be available for Southampton FC’s next fixture after an independent Regulatory Commission upheld a claim of wrongful dismissal and removed his suspension.
“The defender was sent off for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity during a Premier League fixture against Manchester United FC on Tuesday [02/02/21].”
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Manchester United smashed nine goals past Southampton on Tuesday night as they bounced back from disappointing results against Sheffield United and Arsenal in emphatic fashion.
The game was effectively over as a contest inside the first two minutes as Southampton were reduced to 10 men, but United still had to find the goals and they did exactly that, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Marcus Rashford, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial (two), Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes and Daniel James all getting on the scoresheet.
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Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “Jan was not guilty. It was the only possible decision.
“It is a pity that the decision was not made during the game, maybe the drama wouldn’t be like it has to be.”
To add further to the confusion, Arsenal saw an appeal for a very similar challenge by David Luiz earlier on Tuesday night rejected by the FA, despite deciding to overturn Bednarek’s red card.