Erik ten Hag may have risked being hit with an FA punishment by accusing referee Anthony Taylor of 'influencing' Sunday's goalless draw between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford. The Red Devils were a long way off their best as they failed to bounce back from last weekend's historic defeat at Liverpool, with Southampton claiming a welcome point away from home in their bid to secure Premier League survival at the end of the season.
United were reduced to ten men before the break when Casemiro was dismissed for a reckless challenge on Saints playmaker Carlos Alcarez, while they were also denied two big penalty shouts over the course of the 90 minutes. Ten Hag was less than impressed with Taylor's performance with the whistle on Sunday and did not mince his words in his post-match press conference as he suggested that the result might have changed if the referee had done things differently.
"Casemiro played over 500 games in Europe and never once got a red card," said Ten Hag. "Now he has two in the Premier League. His absence is not the issue, we will deal with that. This game was influenced by the referee.
"Everyone who knows something about football, you know, and of course, when you freeze it, it looks bad. But everyone who knows something about football, who was acting on top football, they know what is bad, what isn't bad and what is fair. And I tell you: Casemiro is a really fair player, tough but fair.
JUST IN: Liverpool told Salah sale is an option after latest 'dreadful' display
"And if they isolate one, it's a little bit the same as against Crystal Palace, definitely. When you saw that incident you should have sent off three or four Players and not only one if you're really consistent."
Casemiro actually seemed to have won back possession with his tackle on Alcaraz, but his foot went on to roll over the top of the ball and connect with his opponent in an uncontrolled manner. It could be argued that he was slightly unlucky to have been dismissed as a result of the challenge, although he should have known better than to risk a sending-off by making such an overzealous lunge.
Ten Hag went on to hammer home his point that Premier League referees need to show greater levels of consistency, adding: "What I think is the inconsistency, Players don't know anymore what is the policy and I think it's all across. We see it with Premier League yesterday.
"Leicester [against] Chelsea, the VAR is not coming on the line. Today, it's coming on the line. And then it's two penalty situations, but they don't come on the line. Especially the first one, it was clear and obvious handball, so what is the policy?
"Of course we talk [with referees] but not a lot, so some questions we have. There's another one, inconsistent. The referee is coming in the start of the season with a policy, we are Premier League, it's coming strong here, we want intensity."
Free £2 shop bet with William Hill every day of the Cheltenham Festival - plus all the fantastic daily coverage you need
Pick up your Daily Express every day of the festival for racing specials, day by day updates and free bet EVERY DAY.
Celebrate the biggest racing week of the year - the Cheltenham Festival. One of the most prestigious National Hunt Meetings of the calendar is not to be missed… and we’ve got a bumper week of amazing content and great reader offers. Find out more HERE.