Harry Maguire lucky not to see red, say pundits and ex-Fifa referee
Pundits Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher, as well as former Fifa referee Mark Clattenburg, all believe Harry Maguire should have been sent off during Manchester United's 2-0 win at Chelsea yesterday morning (Singapore time).
The video assistant referee (VAR) was in the spotlight once again, after Maguire appeared to kick Michy Batshuayi off the ball in the groin area in the first half at Stamford Bridge.
It looked reminiscent of Son Heung Min's red card for kicking out at Antonio Ruediger last December.
But Maguire stayed on the pitch and scored a thumping header in the 66th minute to consolidate Anthony Martial's 45th-minute opener.
Said Chelsea manager Frank Lampard: "Maguire should have been sent off. That's clear, and that obviously changes the game... I don't get why they aren't looking at the monitor."
Ex-English Premier League and Fifa referee Clattenburg agreed, writing in his Daily Mail column: "Maguire should not have been on the pitch to score Manchester United's second goal. ..
"On first viewing, I wanted to support Maguire... but replays showed the United defender made a clear second movement towards Batshuayi, which he could have avoided...
"(Referee Anthony) Taylor missed the challenge by Maguire, but had he gone to his pitch-side monitor, I'm sure he would have sent him off."
Ex-Liverpool defender Carragher said the incident highlighted the "inconsistencies" with VAR.
He said on Sky Sports: " I think it's a red card. The referee can't see it, that's got to go to VAR. It's the inconsistency that frustrates people."
Fellow Sky pundit and ex-United captain Keane suggested that Maguire's "personality" might have saved him from a dismissal.
He said: "He's a lucky, lucky boy. Maguire, maybe because it's his personality, a calm lad, but he definitely kicks out."
But United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defended his player, saying: "He was fouled first and Batshuayi was going to fall on top of him, so he put his leg out and hit him where it hurts."
Maguire, meanwhile, added: "I know I caught him and I felt he was going to fall on me and my natural reaction was to straighten my leg to stop him.
"It wasn't a kick-out and there was no intent... It was nice that the referee saw sense."
VAR also ruled out two Chelsea goals from Kurt Zouma and Olivier Giroud.