Erik Ten Hag blasted the decision to single out Casemiro and send off the Manchester United midfielder following a 20-man bust-up with Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
Casemiro was shown a red card for grabbing Will Hughes by the throat after VAR advised referee Andre Marriner to view the pitch-side monitor, but Ten Hag claimed that Palace striker Jordan Ayew was guilty of the same offence against Fred and criticised the lack of fairness or consistency.
‘I see two teams fighting each other,’ said the United manager. ‘I see two teams where several players crossed the line, and then one player is picked out and gets sent off. For me, that’s not right.
‘When Casemiro is sent off for this incident, many more players should have been sent off. You have to be consistent.’
Asked if Ayew should have been one of them, Ten Hag replied: ‘Definitely. He did even worse than Casemiro. Casemiro, you freeze the shot and he crossed the line. Ayew definitely. You have to be consistent with VAR.
‘Casemiro is protecting our player and also protecting the player who wants to attack (Hughes). He is holding him back. He doesn’t want to hurt the player.’
Ten Hag, who will now lose Casemiro for three games, also claimed that Jeffrey Schlupp could have badly injured Antony when he shoved him off the pitch in the 66th minute incident that sparked the melee.
He added: ‘The Palace player takes a big risk by this foul that he (Antony) could get badly injured by pushing him across the line. Then everyone is reacting, Crystal Palace players and Man United players. Not only Casemiro.
‘I thought it was a really high level match for the first 70 minutes until that incident took place. Then you see this team stands for each other. There is such a good spirit in the team and they don’t accept when a player from us can be badly injured, that is the way Antony got treated.
‘This team sticks together but, of course, you have to control your emotions. It is really difficult in such moments. You have to stand as a team, but you have to stay in control because we are role models.’
Ten Hag was also unhappy because VAR did not intervene when Andy Carroll fouled Christian Eriksen during United’s FA Cup win over Reading eight days ago – inflicting an ankle injury that will keep the Dane out until early May – or when Palace striker Jean-Philippe Mateta elbowed Lisandro Martinez in the face at Selhurst Park last month.
‘Last week, we miss Christian Eriksen because of a bad foul – no intervention from VAR,’ he said.
‘At Crystal Palace, Mateta elbowed Martinez. He is running with two weeks with a cut on his eyebrow, and no interference (from VAR). This has an influence on the game and for coming games. They are inconsistent and that is not right.’
Palace boss Patrick Vieira claimed not to have seen the red card incident, but was unhappy that Marriner stopped the game for an injury to Bruno Fernandes when the visitors were on the attack and pushing for an equaliser.
Asked if he was upset, Vieira said: ‘Yes, but I don’t want to talk about it. What I tell you is not going to change anything. The referee has to answer the question not me.’