Harry Maguire has defended himself in response to Chelsea manager Frank Lampard’s claim that he should have been sent off before scoring Manchester United’s second goal against Chelsea last night.
Maguire appeared to kick Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi in the groin as the pair fell to the ground following a challenge.
I try to keep opinions as unbiased as I can, but if I’m being honest I don’t know how Maguire survived that VAR review last night. I will give him the benefit of the doubt, but it did not look good. Especially after the precedent previous reviews have set. pic.twitter.com/3WahaeSSsg
— Red Devils Analysis (@RedDevilsAna) February 18, 2020
A VAR review deemed the incident not to be a red card offence, but Lampard was left fuming, saying ‘Harry Maguire should have been sent off, that’s clear, and that obviously changes the game.’
Sky Sports pundits Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher also felt a red card should have been shown, with Keane calling Maguire ‘a lucky, lucky boy’.
But the England international claimed it was not violent conduct. ‘Obviously I’ve got studs on my boots and it probably looks worse on TV than it was. It wasn’t a kick out and there was no intent or anything like that.’
‘It was just my natural reaction to straighten my leg and if he was going to fall on me, just to hold him up. I knew I did catch him, but I think it’s the right decision in the end.’
The VAR’s decision certainly proved to be the right one for United as the 26-year-old went on to score a towering header in the 66th minute that clinched three vital points for the Reds.
✅ 2-0 Win over Chelsea
🇫🇷 Tony Martial FC
😂 Maguire scored after red card scare
🤝 Fred/Bruno are mint
🕷 AWB was incredible
🎥 Thank god for VAR
💪 3 wins in a row at the Bridge
👊 Bailly did great on his return
👏 Ighalo made debut
— Reppin’ Utd👹 (@ReppinUnited) February 17, 2020
Chelsea fans were also aggrieved after Kurt Zouma had a goal disallowed for a push by Cesar Azpilicueta, as they argued that Fred had pushed the Chelsea captain into Brandon Williams.
Whether the VAR was right or not on both occasions, the Red Devils were the better team on the night and deserved winners of a hard-fought tie that brings them to within three points of their West London rivals.
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