Ten Hag defends Casemiro despite 'crossing the line' for red card

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has praised Casemiro for leaping to Antony's defence during the incident which saw the Brazilian midfielder sent off against Crystal Palace while insisting Jordan Ayew should have also been shown a red card.

Casemiro will be suspended for the next three games after VAR Tony Harrington spotted him putting both hands around Will Hughes' neck during a melee in the second half of United's 2-1 win at Old Trafford on Saturday.

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The disorder started when Jeff Schlupp barged Antony off the pitch and into the advertising boards while the VAR also checked Ayew's man-handling of Fred during the same fracas.

"You see this team stands up for each other," Ten Hag told a news conference after the game.

"It's such a good spirit for the team and they don't like when a player can be badly injured and that's the way Antony got treated. This team sticks together but you have to control your emotions.

"It's really difficult in such a moment and I see two teams fighting each other and I see two teams of players crossing the line and one player gets picked out and sent off and that's not right.

"The player from Crystal Palace takes a big risk by this foul that he [Antony] doesn't get badly injured by pushing him across the line and then everyone is reacting, Crystal Palace and Manchester United players."

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Ten Hag said Casemiro had "crossed the line" during his altercation with Hughes but video footage of the incident also appeared to show Ayew with his hands around Fred's neck, although no action was taken against the Palace forward.

"He was one of the players who did even worse than Casemiro, he's crossing the line there," Ten Hag added.

"I do definitely [think Ayew should have been sent off] and you have to be consistent as a VAR. Last week they missed Christian Eriksen injured by a bad foul but no VAR interference. They are not consistent and that is not fair.

"Casemiro is protecting our player and also protecting the player who wants to attack, he's holding him back. He was protecting him, he doesn't want to hurt a player. Casemiro is crossing the line but many more players are crossing the line."