Former top international referee gives his verdict on Solskjaer’s claims

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Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wasn’t pleased with the officiating of Craig Pawson in his side’s 1-1 draw with Southampton at the St Mary’s Stadium on Sunday.

Pawson refused to blow for Jack Stephens’ tackle on Bruno Fernandes, and Solskjaer was unhappy with the referee’s decision as it played a role in Southampton’s goal.

Solskjaer said after the match that the game has gone from ‘one extreme to another’ and looks more like rugby this season.

There have been many reactions to the tackle on Bruno Fernandes, as the Premier League has tried to eradicate soft fouls and diving from the game.

Meanwhile, former international referee Dermot Gallagher has given his view on the incident, and he doesn’t see anything wrong with the decision made by Craig Pawson.

“I’m a bit surprised,” Gallagher said during Ref Watch on Sky Sports News.

“We saw how everyone embraced the Euros and how they were played; I think the Premier League have learnt so much from the Euros and adapted a lot of things. Last week it was full of praise for how the game was played and I didn’t see that much difference this weekend.

“There was a higher tolerance to physical challenges, penalty shouts not given that would have been given last year. I thought that’s what people wanted.”

Speaking particularly on the tackle on Bruno Fernandes, Gallagher said: “It certainly wasn’t a foul in the context of how the game was refereed.

“From minute one to minute 90, that’s how the referee allowed the game to flow; he allowed that kind of challenge.

“This one has just been identified because of the consequences rather than the challenge itself. By and large, I think Craig Pawson adopted a very, very good threshold and balance.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher discusses whether Bruno Fernandes was fouled in the build-up to Southampton’s opening goal against Manchester United.
“It’s how you win the ball; you can come into the back of someone and win the ball and it’s a clearly a foul. But I don’t think this was a foul.

“If that had been in his own penalty box, I don’t think a foul would be given. Everyone would be saying that’s really good strong defending.”

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