Casemiro to be handed long suspension in major blow for Man Utd

Manchester United will be without Casemiro for the next four matches after the Brazilian midfielder was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge against Southampton on Sunday afternoon. The Red Devils went into the fixture looking for a return to winning ways in the Premier League after last weekend’s thrashing at the hands of Liverpool but were dealt a major blow prior to half-time when they were reduced to ten men as a result of Casemiro’s dismissal.

The former Real Madrid ace went in studs-up on Southampton playmaker Carlos Alcaraz and was initially shown a yellow card for the foul, although a brief VAR check led referee Anthony Taylor to overturn his original decision by sending Casemiro off. He looked distraught as he trudged off the pitch and needed to be consoled by some of his United team-mates before apologising to Alcaraz for his full-blooded challenge.

Casemiro’s second red card of the season means that he will now serve a four-match suspension, which will bring the total number of fixtures missed since joining the Red Devils up to nine. His absence will come as a crushing blow for United, who have relied heavily on his experience and tough-tackling presence in the middle of the park over the course of the campaign to date.

It also means that United will be without two of their first-choice midfielders for their next few outings, with Christian Eriksen still sidelined with a long-term ankle injury that was sustained against Reading in the FA Cup back in January.

Casemiro actually seemed to have won back possession with his tackle on Alcaraz against Southampton, although his foot went on to roll over the top of the ball and into the shin of his opponent. It could be argued that he was slightly unlucky to have been dismissed as a result of the challenge, although he should have known better than to risk another suspension by making such an overzealous lunge.

It remains to be seen how United will line up in midfield over the coming weeks, with Erik ten Hag needing to find a stop-gap solution until Casemiro returns after serving his upcoming four-match ban. It would not be a surprise to see Fred return to the fold out of necessity after being dropped for the visit of Southampton, while Scott McTominay could also be drafted back into United’s starting side in place of his suspended team-mate.

Casemiro was recently warned about his on-pitch discipline at United by former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor, who was left thoroughly unimpressed after the Red Devils playmaker was sent off for tangling with Crystal Palace midfielder Will Hughes at the start of last month.

“The way he was strangling Will Hughes, he should be arrested for that,” fumed Agbonlahor on talkSPORT. “Kids are watching that later on, on Match of the Day, seeing Casemiro strangling an opponent.

“This isn’t ice hockey in America where they have a scrap during the game. This is football, we don’t want to see that, so Casemiro needs to be disciplined by Manchester United.”


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