Manchester United played out a stale 0-0 against Premier League basement boys Southampton on Sunday afternoon, with Casemiro getting sent off in the first half for a reckless challenge.
Erik ten Hag’s men responded to their 7-0 drubbing at the hands of eternal rivals Liverpool last weekend by dishing out a battering of their own on Thursday night against Real Betis, but they missed an opportunity to bounce back in the Premier League on Sunday.
Hosting bottom club Southampton at Old Trafford, Man Utd went with a strong XI and would have been expecting to see off the South Coast club. But, suggestions of a cake walk were dashed 34 minutes into the contest as Casemiro received his marching orders for a careless foul on Carlos Alcaraz.
The Brazilian ball destroyer only recently returned from a lengthy ban following his red card against Crystal Palace, and now he is set to miss another four games through suspension. Initially handed a yellow card for the meaty coming together, VAR ultimately overturned Anthony Taylor’s decision for what they believed to have been a dangerous challenge.
The boot was certainly high and his studs were showing, giving Taylor little option but to reverse his decision and hand the Brazilian an early bath. From there, Man Utd were up against it. Southampton certainly had their openings, but Ten Hag will be somewhat relieved his side kept a clean sheet, given their numerical disadvantage.
The post-mortem will now begin for Man Utd following another disappointing Premier League outing, and a certain Paul Scholes may feel vindicated for his pre-match assessment of Ten Hag’s selection process — with the midfield legend commenting that he felt Casemiro looked like ‘he needed a rest’ after the Betis match.
Speaking after the club’s 4-1 win against Manuel Pellegrini’s side on Thursday, Scholes suggested that Casemiro — along with Luke Shaw — should be kept on ice in Andalusia next week for their Europa League return leg — but his comments certainly held weight for this weekend’s match as he noted the Brazilian’s discernible fatigue.
Scholes said on Thursday: “He [Ten Hag] likes players having rhythm, but with the schedule and the amount of games they’ve played, some of these players need a rest now.
Casemiro's last three Premier League games:
◉ Sent off vs. Crystal Palace ?
◉ Lost 7-0 to Liverpool
◉ Sent off vs. Southampton ?
— Squawka Live (@Squawka_Live) March 12, 2023
“I thought Shaw looked like he needed a rest tonight, Casemiro looks like he needs a rest.
“They can give a few young players a taste of European football [next week] and hopefully that will stand them in good stead for the future.”
It may well be a case that Casemiro plays next week, as he will now miss Man Utd’s next four domestic matches, including Fulham in the FA Cup quarter-finals, Newcastle, Brentford and Everton.