Manchester United were dealt a setback as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Southampton and Casemiro was sent off on a disappointing day (March 12).
Southampton goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu was called into action in the 16th minute when Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes linked up brilliantly. The former went through on goal but his shot was well saved by the Saints shot-stopper.
It was Ruben Selles’ side’s turn to try their hand at Manchester United’s goal. Romain Perraud put an asking cross into the Red Devils’ box and is was met by Theo Walcott. The former Arsenal attacker’s header was superbly denied by Red Devils goalkeeper David de Gea in the 23rd minute.
Tensions rose in the 34th minute when Casemiro fouled Carlos Alcarez. The Brazilian midfielder’s studs slid over the ball and connected with the Argentine attacker’s leg. Referee Anthony Taylor initially gave the United man a yellow card. However, VAR advised him to take a look at the pitchside monitor. Taylor soon overturned his decision and sent Casemiro off.
James Ward-Prowse went close with the resulting free-kick. His effort took a nick of the United wall and dumbfounded De Gea before sailing just wide of his post in the 36th minute.
Manchester United then had two contentious penalty appeals waved away by Taylor. The first occurred in the 40th minute when Fernandes was brought down by Kyle Walker-Peters in the Saints’ box. The second incident arose in the 43rd minute when Walker-Peters appeared to handle the ball that was trickling toward Wout Weghorst. Old Trafford booed Taylor and the officials as they left the field for half-time.
Southampton nearly took the lead in the 49th minute through Walker-Peters. The English right-back raced past Rashford on the right flank before sending a cross ricocheting off Scott McTominay. The ball headed towards the goal but only for Aaron Wan-Bissaka to clear off the line.
Ward-Prowse nearly moved level with David Beckham on 18 direct free-kick goals in the 54th minute. The Saints skipper’s sensational free-kick effort clipped the top of De Gea’s bar.
The Saints were eyeing a rare victory at Old Trafford and Walcott had a golden opportunity in the 63rd minute. His side broke on the counter and the veteran attacker raced forward but should have done better with his shot. He was denied by De Gea’s strong save.
Fernandes thought he had given Manchester United the lead in the 67th minute. The Portuguese playmaker’s phenomenal effort was met by an equally impressive save from Bazunu. The former Manchester City youngster turned the ball onto the post and it bounced out for a corner.
Walker-Peters then hit the post at the other end in the 68th minute with a left-footed attempt. Somehow, the two sides were still level at 0-0 heading into the last 20 minutes.
Alejandro Garnacho went down in the Southampton box under a strong challenge from Walker-Peters in the 82nd minute The Argentine teenager couldn’t continue and was substituted for Fred in the 90+1st minute.
It was a game marred by officiating and one that Red Devils fans are enraged about. One fan wants Taylor investigated:
“I actually think the Premier League need to investigate Anthony Taylor and VAR today, this is a new level of bad. 2 clear pens denied and a silly red for Casemiro winning the ball.”
Another thinks Manchester United were playing a man down against 12-men:
“12 vs 10.”
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the controversial draw between the two sides:
Marseille unlikely to take up the permanent option of Manchester United’s Eric Bailly’s loan
Manchester United defender Bailly has been on loan at Marseille this season. The Ivorian has made 15 appearances, helping the side keep five clean sheets. He was deemed surplus to requirements at Old Trafford following the arrival of Lisandro Martinez last summer.
However, it appears that Marseille are not interested in signing Bailly permanently. According to L’Equipe they will not be triggering the €7 million option in his loan.
He has endured injury issues that have plagued much of his time with the Red Devils. He was also handed a seven-game suspension after a high kick that left Hyeres’ Moussa N’Diaye hospitalized.
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