Manchester United in the first half against Leicester City were lucky to not be reduced to 10 men after a nasty-looking challenge from midfielder Marcel Sabitzer.

Marcel Sabitzer fortunately evaded a red card because VAR officials didn’t feel the Manchester United midfielder’s tackle was made with sufficient force or momentum.

Sabitzer signed for the Red Devils in January and has quickly made his presence felt in the heart of Erik ten Hag’s midfield. His arrival has been particularly timely after Casemiro was handed a three-match ban following a bust-up vs Crystal Palace.

The Brazilian was serving the final game of his suspension as United took on Leicester City, with Sabitzer partnering Fred. But Sabitzer was fortunate to escape a suspension of his own after an ugly-looking tackle on Foxes defender Wout Faes.

The incident occurred in the final minutes of a first half which had seen United take the lead through Marcus Rashford. However, a positive 45 minutes would have been undermined had referee Stuart Attwell reached for his red card.

Fellow pundit Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink added: “I’ve seen them be given. No offence whatsoever, but I’ve seen them be given. I was definitely surprised when it was not yellow at least, so I can understand where Mr Souness is coming from.”

Anchor Dave Jones confirmed that the rationale behind the lack of a red card was that Sabitzer’s challenge was not deemed to have sufficient momentum or force to warrant an immediate dismissal. United legend Gary Neville agreed with that summation and said: “I didn’t think it was a red. I thought he withdrew very quickly and didn’t follow through with the force required.”



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