Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera saw red after receiving two yellow cards for different fouls on Chelsea magician Eden Hazard during Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Manchester United on Monday night.
Former Premier League referee, Graham Poll, who is one of the best referees to officiate in the Premier League, insists referee Michael Oliver was right to give Ander Herrera his marching orders.
“Jose Mourinho once called on referees to protect Eden Hazard, but that was in 2015 and he was manager of Chelsea,” Graham wrote in Daily Mail.
“Now he was using every trick in the book to try to take out Chelsea’s dynamic little winger.
“Mourinho is a master of the dark arts and the way United played showed his style.
“Teams who fear a particular player commit ‘team fouls’ on rotation. Hazard was that man and was fouled four times in 26 first-half minutes.
“Good referees notice and respond. Their first job is to protect players and Michael Oliver did his job.
“In the 20th minute Ander Herrera deliberately blocked Hazard, and after a good advantage, Oliver went back and correctly cautioned him.
“In the 34th minute Phil Jones fouled Hazard again. Oliver called captain Chris Smalling over and showed he’d detected the tactic.
“I was amazed that, within seconds, Herrera fouled Hazard again. He could have been cautioned for stupidity and Oliver was technically spot-on.
“However, he fell away and seemed reluctant to show any more yellow cards. Antonio Valencia will never be luckier not to be cautioned.
“It wasn’t an easy game but Oliver must handle these contests if he wants to become the country’s leading referee.”