Alan Shearer has defended Casemiro after his red card against Crystal Palace and believes a different camera angle which was not used by the VAR exonerates the Manchester United midfielder.
The Red Devils secured a 2-1 victory over the south London club at Old Trafford on Saturday but had to dig in for the final 20 minutes of the match after Casemiro was sent off.
A rough challenge from Jeffrey Schlupp on Antony sparked a melee between both sets of players and Casemiro was singled out by the VAR for having grabbed Will Hughes around the neck.
Manager Erik ten Hag admitted afterwards that his experienced midfielder had crossed a line, though he felt Jordan Ayew should also have seen red and claimed Casemiro was simply trying to stop Hughes from getting involved in the brawl.
Shearer also feels the sending off was incredibly harsh on the former Real Madrid enforcer and produced an alternate camera angle which showed there was no malice in Casemiro’s face and he was grabbing Hughes more by the shirt than his neck.
‘There’s a melee in the corner, you can see everyone coming together, there’s pushing and shoving and grabbing and everything else,’ said Shearer on Match of the Day.
‘And then the referee is actually sent to the screen because of that, but the angle that he’s shown – he’s shown a still, and then he’s showed it in slow motion – in that position [from behind Casemiro] from that angle.
‘But there’s another angle where it doesn’t look anywhere near as bad.
‘And this angle here [from behind Hughes] you can see it there closely, he’s got hold of him, yes, but by the shirt rather than around the neck.
‘There’s a lot more going on, i.e Ayew on Fred and what have you. You can see there’s slaps and pushing and grabbing and everything else.’
Fellow pundit Ian Wright also felt the decision was unfair on Casmeiro, adding of the skirmish: ‘I would have loved it! I would have sorted out somebody I don’t really get on with! But the fact is it’s just handbags, just clear it up and get on with it. Very harsh.’
While Ten Hag felt the still image of Casemiro shown to referee Andre Marriner was rather damning, he was also keen to stress that the Brazilian was on the edge of the fracas and was trying to keep Hughes away.
‘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,’ he said.
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Never miss a beat throughout the season or transfer window with weekly Manchester United news updates, exclusives and analysis. Sign up to Metro.co.uk’s Club Metro newsletter