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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer defends Harry Maguire over red card in Manchester United’s defeat to Watford


Harry Maguire was sent off as Manchester United were beaten by Watford (Getty)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has questioned Harry Maguire’s red card during Manchester United’s 4-1 defeat to Watford on Saturday.

United’s slump continued at Vicarage Road as Solskjaer’s side were two goals behind at half time following a poor display in the opening 45 minutes.

Donny van de Beek pulled a goal back after the break but United’s hopes of a comeback faded with just over 20 minutes to go when Maguire was sent off for a second yellow card.

Maguire was heavily criticised for his celebration for England in their victory over Albania during the international break and the United captain now faces further question marks after his latest performance.

But Solskjaer believes Maguire should have remained on the pitch as he received his first yellow card after a Watford player should have been flagged for offside.

‘It’s a yellow card, it’s a bad touch and a yellow card,’ Solskjaer said when asked about Maguire’s red card.

Harry Maguire’s sending off with 20 minutes remining hindered Manchester United’s hopes of a comeback (Getty)

‘But the first yellow card should never have been because he’s off, the boy is offside.

‘But that’s nit-picking, that’s for another day. When lads are offside and you get a booking that should be looked at as well.

‘Anyway, it was a mistake, we had the upper hand in the second half, we pressed them back, I thought we played well for another five, 10 minutes after that, but then the energy died and they scored two goals to finish the game off.’

Solskjaer was also encouraged by United’s response at the start of the second half before Maguire’s dismissal.

‘The positive reaction was too late… it was at half time. Second-half was a good performance until we got the sending off,’ Solskjaer told BBC’s Match of the Day.

‘The first-half is the worst we’ve played and it’s hard for me to explain why we played the way we did and allowed them to get in our box from nothing. The goalkeeper could go up to the half-way line and put it in the box, we were outfought.

‘Very hurt, when you play in the Premier League you have got to turn up against good players and good opposition like this. The boys are in a terrible place in their heads now, we have let ourselves down and the fans down.

‘It’s hard to stand here and explain that but that’s football and we have to take the flack for it.

‘You look at the chances they created and the goals they scored, they out-fought us, they won challenges they won second balls. Nothing you would be surprised about them trying to do. I’m just disappointed we couldn’t deal with it better.’

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