Gary Neville slams weak Man Utd star for being ‘mauled’ by West Brom

Date published: Monday 15th February 2021 8:58 - Jonny Whitfield

Victor Lindelof, Harry Maguire West Brom v Man Utd February 2021

Gary Neville said that Victor Lindelof’s display proved that Manchester United’s defenders did the exact opposite of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s instructions against West Brom.

Baggies striker Mbaye Diagne muscled past the Swedish defender to put the hosts in front on Sunday.

But while Bruno Fernandes equalised just before half time, United could not find a winner in a sluggish performance.

Questions again surfaced over their defenders; captain Harry Maguire, Lindelof and goalkeeper David de Gea have all faced criticism in recent weeks.

Solskjaer said before the match that he wanted his back line to “stay higher” amid inevitable West Brom pressure. Speaking in Sky Sports commentary, however, Neville slammed United for doing the opposite.

“I watched Ole Gunnar Solskjaer talk about his defenders pushing up the pitch in his pre-match interview, well that was exactly the opposite,” the co-commentator said (via the Daily Express).

“West Brom were always going to put pressure on the United defence and put the ball into the box as early as possible.

“They don’t shift, Lindelof, Maguire, I said it two or three weeks ago. If you don’t shift the two or three yards when the ball goes back then you’re going to end up on top of your goalkeeper.

“It’s a brilliant ball in, Diagne attacks it really well and he mauls Lindelof and heads it brilliantly past De Gea.”

Maguire put himself further in the spotlight by complaining about his denial of a second-half penalty.

The England international went down under Semi Ajayi’s challenge and referee Craig Pawson gave a spot-kick. However, he overturned his decision following closer inspection of the incident.

Interestingly, Maguire may well have been offside, a point that Solskjaer made in his assessment of the play.

Maguire complains at VAR

“I was so certain it was a penalty. I don’t understand why he’s been sent to check it,” Maguire said.

“I’m goalside of the defender, I feel a touch on my shoulder, he’s pulling me back, and then I feel a clip on my heels as well.

“It was minimal, but it’s a penalty, especially after the referee points to the spot you think there’s no chance it’s getting overturned.”

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