Manchester United V Crystal Palace in pictures
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Manchester United midfielder Casemiro was sent off during his side’s Premier League victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday after putting his hands around the neck of Will Hughes during a mass brawl between the two sides. But fresh footage has emerged that shows Palace forward Jordan Ayew grabbing Fred by the neck during the same incident – and it was missed by VAR.
United were 2-0 up courtesy of goals from Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford when the game descended into chaos after Palace midfielder Jeffrey Schlupp had left United winger Antony in a heap on the group next to the advertising boards at the side of the pitch following a heavy challenge.
Opposing players confronted one another, with Casemiro being shown a red card for his behaviour in the melee following intervention from VAR. But Ayew and Fred locked horns at the exact moment Casemiro and Hughes were tussling.
Footage from the match shows Fred’s hand appearing to touch Schlupp’s face as the brawl begins. Rashford tries to hold the Palace man back before Ayew charges over and shoves Fred away. And as Ayew spins, he reaches out and appears to momentarily grab Fred by the throat. The players then grab each other’s shirts, with Ayew again raising his arm to the Brazil international’s face. The duo are finally separated as Raphael Varane comes over and breaks them apart.
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The brawl led to Casemiro’s dismissal as well as bookings for Schlupp and Antony after Video Assistant referee Tony Harrington had directed referee Andre Marriner to check the pitch-side monitor. But it is unclear whether Marriner was made aware of the altercation between Ayew and Fred.
Following the melee, Schlupp pulled a goal back for the Eagles, but United hung on to claim all three points. “They pick one player out, so I think they could have picked more players in such an incident and then the VAR is interfering,” said frustrated United boss Erik ten Hag after the match had come to an end. “This is what I don’t understand because then you have to be consistent.
“I have so many occasions this season where they didn’t interfere so I was disappointed, but we have to take it. Our players have to behave, they have to control their emotions – but I’m happy that we have the spirit and we stand for each other.
“First of all, we have to deal with it and we will do, but it is not right. It shouldn’t have happened. This was avoidable and because in this incident there have to be consequences and they are inconsistent and that is not right, that is not fair against us. We have to think about [appealing]. But be fair, we have seen when you’re freezing [the frame in the video], Casemiro is crossing the line. But many more players were crossing the line there.”
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