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‘It was never a sending off’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blasts ‘joke’ red card for Nemanja Matic

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‘It was never a sending off’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blasts ‘joke’ red card for goalscorer Nemanja Matic after Manchester United exited Carabao Cup – and pundits Micah Richards and Darren Fletcher agree

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer labelled Nemanja Matic’s dismissal a ‘joke’ following Manchester United’s Carabao Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester City.

Matic was sent off in the second half for a second yellow card when he blocked City’s Ilkay Gundogan.

The Serbian midfielder, who had put United back into the tie after scoring in the first half, received his first booking when he fouled Riyad Mahrez.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left frustrated after Nemanja Matic was sent off on Wednesday

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left frustrated after Nemanja Matic was sent off on Wednesday

Matic was sent off for a second yellow card against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium

Matic was sent off for a second yellow card against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium

Matic was dismissed when he was booked for blocking Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan

Matic was dismissed when he was booked for blocking Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan

Solskjaer felt referee Kevin Friend and his fellow officials had made the wrong call in sending him off.

He said: ‘Of course it is hard to come here and score a goal with 11 never mind 10. It was never a sending off. Absolutely for me a joke. How many times did they foul us?’ 

Solskjaer added: ‘The first one’s not a yellow card. He’s unlucky. I disagree with that decision.

Matic had earlier celebrated scoring the goal that got United back into the Carabao Cup tie

Matic had earlier celebrated scoring the goal that got United back into the Carabao Cup tie

‘We had a chance towards the end but of course that made it more difficult.’

Both Darren Fletcher and Micah Richards, who were appearing as pundits during Sky Sports’ coverage of the game, agreed with the United manager.

Former United midfielder Fletcher felt referee Friend’s decision to send Matic off was poor, particularly given he felt the midfielder hadn’t made contact with Mahrez.

‘I don’t think Matic should have been sent off,’ Fletcher said. ‘The first one is very harsh because he doesn’t make any contact. 

‘And the second one is clever from Gundogan, I don’t think there’s enough contact there and the referee’s bought it.’ 

Matic had earlier scored the goal to get United back into the Carabao Cup semi-final

Matic had earlier scored the goal to get United back into the Carabao Cup semi-final

Former City defender Richards felt it was a crucial moment which resulted in one of United’s better performers being sent off, and suggested Friend didn’t take into context the nature of the fixture. 

He said: ‘That moment was pivotal to the game. I thought Matic was brilliant today and I don’t think either of those should have been a yellow card. If you’re going to give fouls for that, every player is going to get booked every single week. 

‘It’s a derby, sometimes in these games you want to see challenges let go. It spoiled the game.’        



‘It was never a sending off’: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blasts ‘joke’ red card for Nemanja Matic

Man City 0-1 Manchester United (3-2 on aggregate): Guardiola’s men reach Carabao Cup final

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