Ander Herrera has reacted to receiving a red card against Burnley during Manchester United’s 0-0 draw with Sean Dyche’s men on Saturday.
The Spaniard picked up a yellow card in the first-half for a rash challenge on Dean Marney, and was handed a second booking for a challenge on the same player after 69 minutes.
Mark Clattenburg’s decision to hand Herrera a second booking was widely contested by Man United fans, with many noting that the 27-year-old had slipped before notably pulling out of the challenge.
Speaking after the game, Herrera made it clear that he never displayed any malicious intent with either tackle.
“Two fouls in the game,” he said. “Both of them I didn’t want to make. The first yellow card I bent my knees, I didn’t want to kick the opponent.
“The second, I slid in. But I don’t want to complain because I don’t want to be banned for more games.
“The only thing I can say is that I didn’t want to make those fouls. I am not a violent player. I slipped.”
I’ll admit: from my vantage point at the top of E36, Herrera’s second booking came across as justified. He had, in typical Herrera style, flew at Marney with some serious energy, and the Burley midfielder was left in a heap.
Watching a replay of the incident at full time, however, completely altered that view. The Spaniard evidently slipped, before even more evidently pulling out of the challenge, raising his hands in a diplomatic manner as he skidded across the wet turf. It was, above anything, the speed of his aborted challenge that prompted Clattenburg into handing out a booking, but United fans will know that this was a crude error of judgement.
It was, after all, a seriously wet pitch and Herrera, running at full pelt, understandably slipped. This is not, as many have already argued, sufficient for a second booking, and such a poor decision inevitably compounded the side’s misery.