Following Erik Lamela’s challenge on Casemiro, Manchester United fans were left annoyed at what they perceived as a ‘double standard.’
The events of United’s game with Sevilla on Thursday night must have felt like a terrible nightmare for Erik Ten Hag when he woke up on Friday morning.
Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane both sustained injuries during the game, with the latter’s appearing to be particularly severe, and the team lost a two-goal advantage.
Marcel Sabitzer scored two fantastic goals in the first half, maintaining the team’s impressive form in their strange hybrid campaign that combines the Europa League and the Copa del Rey.
But by the end of the night pretty much everything that could go wrong had somehow gone wrong, with Bruno Fernandes picking up a yellow card that meant he would miss the second leg.
Perhaps the only thing that Ten Hag avoided seeing go belly up was the fact that Casemiro, back in the team for the first time since he picked up a domestic suspension for four games, didn’t also pick up a yellow card and get another suspension.
However, the Brazilian was still involved in a contentious moment, with former Tottenham Hotspur star Erik Lamela booked for a challenge on the midfielder.
The Argentine’s studs up challenge on the shin of his fellow South American was only worth a yellow card, but many felt that had the boot been on the opposite shin then it would have certainly been a red.
No red card was given after this Lamela challenge on Casemiro. pic.twitter.com/gBxtZdXBc0
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 13, 2023
“If it was the other way around Casemiro would’ve gotten two reds,” joked one.
“If it’s the other way around Casemiro is immediately off, embarrassing. Hope Sevilla liquidates,” added a second, not in the slightest bit bitter at the Spanish side’s comeback.
One conspiracy theorist claimed, “Way worse than Casemiro’s slip vs Saints. Absolute banter officiating again. UEFA got what they wanted, what they had planned to happen, didn’t they.”
“All ya’ll commenting that Lamela got the ball first clearly don’t remember Casemiro’s red card,” added a fourth, also referencing the former Real Madrid star’s second red of the season.
Another conspiracy theorist posted, “Erik Lamela gets away with a double stamp worse than what Casemiro got a 5 game ban for. European officiating against Spanish opposition never changes.”
And on Fernandes’ yellow card a sixth fan noted, “So Lamela stamping on Casemiro’s leg and Bruno happening to possess an arm are apparently equal offences.”
The atmosphere at Old Trafford was not lifted when Fernandes received a booking just minutes after the incident, where he was penalized for blocking a long-range shot with his arm.
Despite the fact that the midfielder’s arm was not in an unnatural position and he did not intentionally move it towards the ball, the referee still deemed it necessary to caution him.
This is not the first time that United has been on the receiving end of a controversial handball decision against Spanish opposition this season, as they lost to Real Sociedad at home during the group stages due to a contentious penalty call.
Nevertheless, at that point in the match, United had a two-goal lead over their opponents and appeared certain to qualify for the semi-finals, but now they could be without five key players when they travel to Seville in a week’s time.