Nemanja Matic has called into question referee Mike Dean’s decision to send him off during the dying moments of Manchester United’s win over Watford at Vicarage Road.
The Serbian, a potent physical presence throughout the game, picked up a booking early in the second half.
And with Watford pushing hard for an equaliser in injury time, Matic brought down Will Hughes near the touchline and received his marching orders.
Speaking after the game, Matic noted he was not sure if he deserved a second yellow but nonetheless respected the referee’s decision.
“I think the first yellow card was a clear yellow card,” he said.
“The second one, I’m not sure, it was a foul, but I’m not sure if it was a yellow card. It’s OK. I accept the decision of the referee and I will have one game to rest.”
It is not often I agree with Mike Dean – both as a referee and as a concept – but he most certainly got this one right. With Watford piling forward and United camped outside their area, Hughes, who had been excellent, burst past Matic on the right and was duly scythed down by the outstretched leg of Matic.
He will miss next Saturday’s meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers. Marcus Rashford, meanwhile, still has two games serve after his red card for violent conduct against Burnley.