ERIK TEN HAG hit out at the inconsistent implementation of VAR after Manchester United and Crystal Palace players clashed but only Casemiro was sent off for “crossing the line”.
Bruno Fernandes’ early penalty and a Marcus Rashford strike put the Red Devils on course for a 13th successive home win in all competitions that they wrapped up after a nervy last 20 minutes.
Jeffrey Schlupp shoved Antony off the pitch, sparking a fight involving both sets of players which ended with Casemiro receiving a straight red card for violent conduct.
Referee Andre Marriner was advised to check the pitchside monitor by the VAR to review images of the Brazil international grabbing Will Hughes by the throat.
But Ten Hag said Palace players should have been punished for their role in a melee that resulted in a frantic conclusion to the match, with Schlupp pulling one back only for United to run out 2-1 victors.
“We played a good game,” the Dutchman said. “I think we played a brilliant game.
“It was a really high level first 70 minutes until the incident takes place and then you see this team stands for each other.
“It’s such a good spirit for the team and they don’t accept when a player from us can be badly injured. That is 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.
Then I see two teams fighting each other, I see two teams where players, several players, are crossing the line and then one player is picked out and sent off. For me, that’s not right.”
Ten Hag said Schlupp took a “big risk” by shoving Antony off the pitch, saying he could have been “badly injured”.
The United boss said Jordan Ayew should have “definitely” been sent off for his actions in the fight that followed, with the recent lack of VAR consistency infuriating him.
“You bring it up, but that was one of the players who did even worse, I would say, than Casemiro,” Ten Hag said of Ayew.
“You have to be consistent as a VAR. Last week we missed Christian Eriksen (who is out for three months) by a bad foul. No interference from VAR.
“In Crystal Palace (last month), (Jean-Phillipe) Mateta is elbowing (Lisandro) Martinez, he is running for two weeks with a mark on his eyebrow and (VAR’s) not interfering. I see this is not right.”
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Ten Hag says United have to think about whether they appeal against Casemiro’s sending-off – a straight red that means his next domestic match will be the Carabao Cup final on 26 February.
Crystal Palace counterpart Patrick Vieira was less forthcoming about his thoughts on the officiating.
The France great stormed straight over to referee Marriner at full-time, but, asked what he said to the officials, he replied: “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Vieira said he was too far away to have a clear view on the incident that ended with Casemiro’s sending-off on an afternoon when Palace threatened to snatch another late draw against United.
“I think we showed character,” the Palace boss said. “Disappointed with the start, our first half.
“I think we defended well. We were quite well organised but when we managed to win the ball we did couldn’t combine together.
“We lost the ball a little bit too quickly in the first half, and it was much better in the second half.
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