Bednarek cries even 'Martial said it's not a foul!' over his red card

Jan Bednarek pleads his innocence over red card with tunnel mics catching him crying ‘Martial said it’s not a foul!’ as Southampton defender trudges off at Old Trafford after conceding penalty during 9-0 drubbing

  • Southampton were thrashed 9-0 at Manchester United in the Premier League
  • The Saints had two players sent off on a miserable Tuesday night at Old Trafford
  • Jan Bednarek was the second of them to be sent off in the dying minutes
  • Bednarek was shown a red card for fouling Anthony Martial in the penalty area
  • Referee Mike Dean deemed the 24-year-old made no attempt to play the ball 

Manchester United may have thumped nine-man Southampton in a record-equalling 9-0 Premier League win on Tuesday night but the main talking point surrounded one of the visitors’ dismissals.

There were no complaints about Alex Jankewitz’s reckless challenge after just two minutes on Scott McTominay, but the Saints could feel aggrieved about Jan Bednarek’s sending off in the dying moments of the match.

United were awarded a penalty when substitute Anthony Martial fell under a challenge from the Poland international. Upon viewing under a VAR recommendation, referee Mike Dean showed Bednarek a straight red card too for no attempt at playing the ball.

Jan Bednarek (right) was left incredulous at referee Mike Dean (left) after he was sent off

The Southampton defender was sent off for this challenge on Anthony Martial on Tuesday

Upon a VAR review, Dean felt that Bednarek made no attempt to play the ball so sent him off

That decision angered the centre back who said ‘Martial said it’s not a foul!’ as he walked off

The official FA rules state: ‘Where a player commits an offence against an opponent within their own penalty area which denies an opponent an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and the referee awards a penalty kick, the offending player is cautioned if the offence was an attempt to play the ball; in all other circumstances (e.g. holding, pulling, pushing, no possibility to play the ball etc.) the offending player must be sent off.’ 

It was a double punishment for Southampton and one that looked contentious on replay as many watching felt Martial was already going to ground before being clipped.

And as an incredulous Bednarek headed down the Old Trafford tunnel he revealed that even the Manchester United No 9 admitted to him it wasn’t a foul.

As he trudged off the 24-year-old could be heard astounded: ‘It’s not a foul! Martial said it’s not a foul!’

It completed a miserable night for the centre back who also scored an own goal in the 34th minute to give United a 3-0 lead.

Upon replay many felt Manchester United striker Martial was already going down beforehand

In the first half, Bednarek scored an own goal to put United 3-0 up after just 34 minutes

The Poland international reflects upon his mistake during a forgettable night at Old Trafford

Speaking post-match shell-shocked Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl snubbed the chance to speak about official Dean’s display.

‘Jan Bednarek does not kill him but I do not want to speak about the referee,’ he told BBC Sport.

‘Last week he [Dean] was our VAR and made his mark in the game. It was a stupid foul from the young lad [Jankewitz] and kills everything.’

While Hasenhuttl kept his thoughts to himself BT Sport pundits Rio Ferdinand and Glenn Hoddle were damning of the decision to send off Bednarek.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl refused the chance to speak about Dean post-match

Rio Ferdinand (left) and Glenn Hoddle slammed the red-card rule exception as ‘nonsense’

‘The rule is nonsense. That rule is nonsense that if you bring him down and clash him and say I was trying to play the ball I’m only going to get a yellow card’, Hoddle told BT Sport.

‘But we’ve seen two players [David Luiz was also sent off for Arsenal at Wolves for a similar incident] tonight try and get out of the way and completely not foul him and there’s contact of some sort or the referee says there is contact you get a red card. That can’t be right.

‘If he’d [Dean] have booked Martial there I don’t think any of us would be saying it’s a dreadful decision. 

‘But it’s the rule. I don’t understand the rule. That cant be right, where you try to stay on your feet and not make the tackle and you do miss the ball then try and take the player down, you only get a yellow?’

Alex Jankewitz (left) was sent off for a horror lunge on Scott McTominay in the second minute

Jankewitz saw red after 79 seconds in Southampton’s embarrassing loss at Manchester United

Ferdinand concurred: ‘It goes against everything you’re brought up to know about football. It’s a crazy rule, crazy rule.

‘The reaction on social media tells you everything you need to know about it. There’s absolute disbelief everywhere.

‘Mike Dean has given 109 red cards in his career, the most red cards out of any referee, so he doesn’t mind getting his red card out.

‘You’re going to have to be taught now and rebooted as an individual that you must really go in and try to win the ball rather than try to get out the way. It’s crazy.’

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