Manchester United will have to live without key midfielder Casemiro for their next four domestic matches after the Brazilian was shown a second straight red card of the season in Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Southampton.
Casemiro was originally shown a yellow card by referee Anthony Taylor for his first-half tackle on Saints midfielder Carlos Alcaraz, but the decision was upgraded to a red card after VAR official Andre Marriner advised Taylor to take a second look at the monitor.
The club have announced that they will not contest the suspension, meaning that Casemiro will be unavailable for the upcoming FA Cup clash at home to Fulham followed by Premier League fixtures against Newcastle (away), Brentford (home) and Everton (home).
“He’s important but in top football there’s a risk and we know that,” Ten Hag said of Casemiro back in February, coincidentally just before the Brazilian was shown his first red card against Crystal Palace.
“We know players get injured and you can’t avoid it. Of course, if you want to be successful in the season you need your key players on board and that’s definitely the truth.
“I think it’s not possible to have two Casemiros or two Christian Eriksens. I think in that part we can be a bit deeper but also I think we said before the season that we want to restore Man United but it will take time. It will take seasons to get back the days when you can compete for everything and for the highest trophies in the world.
“It is (a risk) for every player and Bruno is also playing every game. Those players are capable of it and that’s why they are so good. You can always rely on them as a club and that’s why they have won so many trophies.
“Casemiro at Real Madrid, I think also there he played so many games.”
This isn’t the first time that Manchester United have had to make do without the influential midfielder this season.
He had not yet been signed when Ten Hag’s men lost their opening two league fixtures against Brighton and Brentford. He was then utilised off the bench in the first few weeks after signing from Real Madrid and was only a substitute when United lost 6-3 to Man City back in October.
But Casemiro’s arrival in Ten Hag’s regular starting line-ups coincided with a major uptick in United’s form. He was an ever-present throughout the Autumn until an accumulation of bookings saw him suspended for the 3-2 defeat to Arsenal in January.
He returned in a 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace, but a straight red card for his part in an off-ball scuffle saw him dismissed and suspended for a double-header against Leeds and a home match against Leicester.
United fared okay without Casemiro for his last suspension, beating Leeds at Elland Road and Leicester at Old Trafford. But they had to settle for a point at home to old foes Leeds, having battled back from two goals behind to draw 2-2.
Casemiro underlined his importance with impressive displays as United navigated past Barcelona in the Europa League and beat Newcastle 2-0 at Wembley to claim their first trophy in six years. But he did start as United lost 7-0 away to Liverpool – their worst-ever defeat to their historic rivals.
We’ve taken a look at every game of United’s season so far and compared their record with and without Casemiro in the starting line-up.
Goals for: 52
Goals per game: 1.79
Goals against: 25
Goals against per game: 0.86
Points per game (Premier League): 2.34 (2.06)
Win rate: 72.4%
Loss rate: 10.3%
🗣️ “He’s important but there’s a risk that players get injured, you can’t avoid it. If you want to be successful in the season you need your key players on board.”
Erik ten Hag on if Manchester United could cope without Casemiro long-term if he was out injured. 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/v5RhlGyamM
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 4, 2023
Goals for: 32
Goals per game: 2.13
Goals against: 23
Goals against per game: 1.53
Points per game (Premier League): 2.00 (1.72)
Win rate: 66.6%
Loss rate: 33.3%