Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was less than impressed with some of the refereeing decisions during Manchester United’s draw with Southampton.
Manchester United were in action against Southampton and were backed to come away with another win. However, they battled only for a draw as Mason Greenwood cancelled a Fred own goal from the first half. Paul Pogba proved inspiring again as the Frenchman provided yet another assist to United’s cause.
There was plenty of criticism aimed at some of the refereeing decisions following the game, which considerably hurt Manchester United. A decision to allow play to continue following Saints defender Jack Stephens charge on Bruno Fernandes from behind resulted in Southampton scoring the opener, receiving widespread criticism.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskaer was quick to respond on these matters and was livid at how the decisions hurt his side. He was particularly unhappy about the Stephens foul. Speaking after the game, Solskjaer made the following comments which NBC Sports published.
Solskjaer said, “It seems like football has gone from one extreme to the other. That is a foul. Definitely. It happens in football that you don’t get every decision. We should have reacted better.”
“Might be a little bit lucky to deflect off Fred, but he shouldn’t have dangled his leg. He should have blocked that shot. We need better reactions when we don’t get decisions.”
Furthermore, Manchester United looked jaded in the last 15-minutes of the game, and there were concerns over the players’ fitness levels.
“It is still early on in the season, [we have] fitness issues,” Solskjaer explained. “We are still not 100 per cent fit, and then there are a couple of tactical issues we need to correct. Most of it was tiredness and sloppiness.”
Later on, going back on rules and decisions, Solskjaer reiterated Jurgen Klopp’s comments after Liverpool’s win against Burnley. The German manager had suggested certain things concerning the style of play allowed in the game. Klopp particularly pointed towards heavy tackles on some of his star names that went unpunished multiple times.
Solskjaer said, probably referring again to the Stephens tackle on Bruno Fernandes, “treatment from others who can’t match their technical level”. There is already plenty of debate after only two matchdays, with managers at big clubs specifically questioning refereeing decisions that could potentially hurt players.
We might have plenty more to look forward to this season, especially after several rules changes the Premier League have advocated. However, Solskjaer’s comments have a point, and referees should do better to protect players.