Tue. Mar 2nd, 2021

Man Utd


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke to referee before Man United vs Southampton

3 min read

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed that he spoke to referee Mike Dean before kick-off against Southampton.

Dean had a busy game at Old Trafford on Tuesday night, producing two red cards for the away side and giving United a penalty in their 9-0 victory.

Alex Jankewitz was sent off just two minutes into his first Premier League start after catching Scott McTominay with a dangerous high foot.

Bednarek was then dismissed with the score at 6-0 after being adjudged to have caught Anthony Martial in the penalty area when the French striker was clean through.

Dean stuck with his original decision to award a penalty and send off Bednarek after VAR advised him to consult with the pitchside monitor.

That decision was made despite the Southampton central defender claiming as he walked down the tunnel that “Martial said it wasn’t a foul” .

Bednarek’s dismissal followed a similar incident in Arsenal’s clash with Wolves in one of the two early kick-offs on Tuesday in which David Luiz was given a straight red card.

Luiz accidentally made contact with Wolves striker Willian Jose in the penalty area and the Arsenal defender was sent off for denying a goalscoring opportunity.

Ruben Neves scored the resulting spot-kick as Wolves came from 1-0 down to win 2-1 and Solskjaer revealed that he had seeked clarification over the rules in such situations from Dean and his colleagues before the Saints game.

He said: “Funnily enough, I had a discussion with the referees before the game and just asked them about David Luiz sending off, because I didn’t think he should’ve been sent off and Bednarek definitely shouldn’t have been sent off.”

The two decisions provoked widespread discussion on the laws around red cards, with many uncomfortable with the perceived element of double jeopardy.

Former Liverpool and United striker Michael Owen accused Martial of diving to win the penalty from Bednarek on Twitter.

He wrote: “That absolutely sums things up. The best thing is it hardly matters. But if that’s a pen then the game has officially gone.

“Biggest example of a dive I’ve seen in ages. Shambles.”

Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand said he thought the decisions would cause players to second-guess themselves over making tackles in the penalty area.

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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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“It goes against everything you were brought up understanding and knowing in football,” he said on BT Sport.

“It’s a crazy rule and the reaction on social media tells you everything you need to know about it – there’s absolute disbelief everywhere.

“Mike Dean has given 109 red cards in his career as a referee, the most out of any referee in Premier League history, so he doesn’t mind getting the red card out.”

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