Harry Maguire is “fed up” with critics of Victor Lindelof and Manchester United’s defence, with the Red Devils skipper claiming a “blatant foul” denied Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side another three points at West Brom.
A 1-1 draw was played out at The Hawthorns on Sunday, doing few favours to the lofty ambitions of title-chasing United or the survival hopes of the hosts.
More questions have been asked of United’s defence with Swedish centre-half Lindelof beaten in the air by Mbaye Diagne for the early opener, but Maguire retains full faith in those around him and believes match officials have been letting the Red Devils down.
United captain Maguire told MUTV: “It’s a big frustration. We know the first goal is crucial when you come to this place – but it’s a foul. I’m fed up of hearing ‘Vic can do better’. Of course he can do better, and I know he can.
“I’m fed up of hearing ‘people can do better’. ‘David [de Gea] can do better on the cross’. It’s a foul. It’s a foul from Billy Sharp on David [in the recent Sheffield United game]. If you get someone in the back, and if the big striker’s wrestling Vic and then puts his arms all over him, heads it in the back of the net, of course he can do better, but it’s a foul.”
Maguire added: “I had one disallowed at Burnley two or three weeks ago, and the difference is massive. You can’t tell me that I did more than the striker’s done there!
“So the inconsistency is something that we need to look at, but for sure, it’s a foul, and I’m not making up excuses, because Vic’s disappointed in there and he was disappointed at half-time. He’s reacted really well in the game. I’m sure he’ll feel it was a mistake, but like I say, I’m fed up of hearing about mistakes from defenders and goalkeepers when it’s a blatant foul.
“When are we going to get these decisions? As defenders and goalkeepers, you expect a fair decision. For me, I know Vic will be disappointed in there, and I’m sure he’s probably getting criticism, he knows he can do better.
“It’s a foul, so we shouldn’t even be speaking about this. He’s a big striker who’s bigger than Vic and he’s wrestling him, he’s got his arms all about it, and he heads the ball in the back of the net.”
Having been held on the road at West Brom, United are now seven points adrift of table-topping rivals Manchester City.
The Blues also boast a game in hand on the Red Devils and are threatening to race clear of the chasing pack.
The focus for Solskjaer’s troops is about to shift to continental matters and the first leg of their Europa League last-32 encounter with Real Sociedad on Thursday, before then returning to domestic duty at home to Newcastle on Sunday.
There are issues for them to address at the back heading into those outings, amid mounting calls for defensive reinforcements to be brought in during the summer transfer window, with only eight sides – and one in the top-half – being breached on more occasions than United in the Premier League this season.