Paul Merson and Michael Dawson clash over Casemiro ‘leg-breaker’

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Sky Sports pundits Paul Merson and Michael Dawson were in disagreement over Casemiro’s straight red card against Southampton as the debate over his four-match domestic ban threatens to rumble on. The Brazilian received his marching orders last Sunday following a VAR check after his studs crashed into the shin of Saints attacking midfielder Carlos Alcaraz, who was left slumped on the turf in agony.

The red card was Casemiro’s second in as many months resulting in an increased suspension (usually three matches for straight red) for the defensive midfielder, who will miss the FA Cup quarter-final with Fulham plus Premier League matches against Newcastle, Brentford and Everton.

But Merson feels as though Casemiro and United were hard done by as the officials shouldn’t have taken the wet pitch into consideration when reviewing the incident.

“Sometimes you’ve got to use common sense. Casemiro’s one, it’s a wet pitch, his foot has rolled over the ball. He hasn’t missed it. You can’t help that,” Merson said on Soccer Saturday.

“Any other day his studs are bang on the ball and he carries on and it will be alright.

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“It’s just a bit of common sense, you know what I mean?

Dawson then outlined that the tackle was a leg-breaker in his view: “But if he breaks his leg with the Alcaraz one…”

To which Merson quickly replied: “But he didn’t…”

Ex-Spurs defender Dawson responded: “I know he didn’t Merse. But I just think that’s a red card, that’s my view.”

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Merson wasn’t having it though, adding: “That’s like saying there’s a train strike and the fans couldn’t get there so we couldn’t play.

“I just think it’s common sense. He doesn’t go over the ball, I’ve seen tackles where they miss the ball and they go and you then say ‘ah come on.’

“Everything you can see afterwards where he goes and cuddles the blog, shows he didn’t mean it.”

United decided not to appeal the decision, which suggests they were regrettably willing to accept Casemiro’s fate.

Casemiro was left distraught after the tackle and looked close to tears as he left the Old Trafford pitch.

Before leaving the turf, he was consoled by compatriot and team-mate Antony, who appeared to tell him that United would win the match for him.

However, that was not the case as United were held to a 0-0 draw by the Saints, who will feel frustrated they didn’t come away with all three points.

United take a break from Premier League action this weekend as they look to book another trip to Wembley for the FA Cup semi-finals.

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