The Current and Former Manchester United Managers Engaged in A Verbal War Over The South Korean's On-Field Conduct
The VAR technology reared its ugly head again in the Premier League in the British capital as Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur hosted Solskjaer’s Red Devils in London in a tie that had significant ramifications in the top four race in the English top-flight.
The match was a high octane, entertaining clash that featured a disallowed goal, controversial VAR decisions, a second half fightback from Manchester United and a spat between the current and former managers of the Old Trafford outfit.
Spurs’ South Korean winger Son Heung-min was, regrettably, at the receiving end of online racial abuse after the match. Mourinho and Solskjaer sparred over a disallowed Edinson Cavani goal in the first half, with the Norwegian accusing Son of histrionics in the build-up to the Uruguayan forward’s disallowed goal.
Former Manchester United manager Mourinho was quick to counter his successor at the Theatre of Dreams, drawing comparisons between Solskjaer and Son’s father in the latest spat between the two managers
Spurs also took cognizance of the racial abuse and derogatory slurs aimed at Son Heung-min after the match, with action against the perpetrators expected in the coming days. FootTheBall takes a look at how the match unfolded and what led to the controversy that raged over the internet after the completion of the match.
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 11, 2021
CAVANI’S DISALLOWED GOAL
Former PSG forward Edinson Cavani scored for the Red Devils only to see his goal be ruled out due to the intervention of the infamous VAR technology. Referee Chris Kavanaugh consulted the pitch-side VAR monitor before chalking off the goal due to a foul committed by Scott McTominay during the build-up on Son Heung-min. The South Korean went down after the Scottish midfielder purportedly hit him in the build-up to Cavani’s goal in the 33rd minute of the match.
This incident became a hot potato as it divided fans and pundits on the legitimacy of Son’s actions on the pitch, with the South Korean receiving flak from some sections for his histrionics and propensity to go down easily from the slightest of touches from opponents.
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho, on the other hand, didn’t comment on the incident involving Son, but deflected the tension around it by suggesting Solskjaer star man on the day Paul Pogba should have received his marching orders from the referee. He was quoted as saying “My opinion was a good game. My opinion was we didn’t deserve this result at all. We were unlucky because maybe [Paul] Pogba should get a red card for an elbow on Serge Aurier”.
But the Portuguese’s team didn’t have to rue the disallowed goal as they came back from behind to comfortably win 3-1 in North London, courtesy of goals from Fred, Cavani and Mason Greenwood to turn the tie around after Son Heung-min’s first half goal to earn three crucial points on the road as they reinforced their bid to cement their place in the top four sides of the Premier League.
MOURINHO VS SOLSKJAER: SON AND MCTOMINAY INCIDENT
Speaking after the match, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer lambasted Son’s on-field antics that denied the Red Devils a goal in the first half. The Manchester United manager said: “I have to say if my son stays down like this for three minutes and he gets 10 of his mates around him if he gets that in the face from one of his other mates, and he needs 10 mates to help him up, he won’t get any food”.
Despite Man Utd's win against Spurs, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was far from happy with Son Heung-Min.
"If that was my son… he's not going to get food for a few days."#bbcfootball
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) April 12, 2021
Back in October 2020, the Norwegian had accused the Lilywhites of hoodwinking the match officials. On being asked whether United had been duped again, he replied “No, we weren’t [duped], the referee was”.
In retaliation, Mourinho launched a full-fledged tirade against his successor at Old Trafford for targeting Son with respect to Cavani’s disallowed goal. The Portuguese addressed the media by saying the following: “I’m very, very surprised after the comments that Ole made on Sonny, you don’t ask me about it. Because, if it’s telling me that player A, B or C from another club was my son and I wouldn’t give him dinner tonight, what would be the reaction to that?”
The former Manchester United manager even went so far as to draw a comparison between Solskjaer and Son’s father. He said “In relation to Sonny, I just want to say that Sonny is very lucky that his father is a better person than Ole”
"Sonny is very lucky that his father is a better person than Ole"
Jose Mourinho hits back at Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his criticism of Son Heung-Min.
— BBC RM Sport (@BBCRMsport) April 12, 2021
SON – RACIAL ABUSE’S LATEST TARGET
Regrettably, Son was at the receiving end of racial abuse from social media users after the controversial incident involving him and Scott McTominay. Tottenham Hotspur swiftly addressed the reprehensible incident, backing the South Korean.
Perpetrators may be in for a hard time on this occasion as the disgraceful occurrence has been reported to the concerned social media platforms. In addition to this, Spurs in tandem with the Premier League will take appropriate action as the crackdown on social media hate and racial abuse continues across England and Europe.
Another matchday and more abhorrent racial abuse suffered by one of our players. This has again been reported to the platforms and we shall now undertake a full review alongside the Premier League to determine the most effective action moving forward.
We stand with you, Sonny. pic.twitter.com/fNBpSykJJo
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) April 11, 2021