Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has reminded Arsenal that his side were able to beat them without Casemiro after the talismanic midfielder was suspended for Sunday’s crunch trip to the Emirates
Casemiro picked up a yellow card with ten minutes to go of United’s 1-1 draw away at Crystal Palace for a foul on Wilfried Zaha, his fifth booking of the campaign, which results in a one-match suspension.
After Michael Olise’s sensational free-kick snatched a draw for Palace in stoppage-time, United head to the Emirates in third, eight points behind Arsenal.
United remain the only side to have beaten Arsenal in the Premier League this season and Ten Hag has told his players it is up to them to make up for Casemiro’s absence.
“Last time we beat Arsenal without Casemiro,” said Ten Hag.
“Casemiro is obviously a really important player for us and he is one of the reasons that we are in the position that we are now.
“We have a squad and we have to fill that gap and make a proper plan and the squad has to fill it. As a team, we already showed how to beat Arsenal.”
Reacting to Casemiro’s challenge on Zaha, Ten Hag told Sky Sports: “I think it’s instinctive, he went for the ball.
“He missed the ball but it’s quite clear, on our right side, it could have been a dangerous situation. He wants to stop it. That was his reaction, it was quite clear.
“Last time we beat Arsenal without Casemiro, so this time we have to do the same.”
Redknapp: Title a step too far for United
Speaking in the Sky Sports studio afterwards, Jamie Redknapp said United’s failure to hold on for victory at Selhurst Park may prove terminal to their hopes of mounting a title challenge despite their progress under Ten Hag.
“I didn’t really believe Man Utd were in the title picture before the game,” said the Sky Sports pundit.
“I still think they have so much to do, but the progression they have made so far is astounding.
“The job he has done is superb. The culture at the club has completely turned on its head and they look a real force again.
“I’m sure in the coming transfer window they will only get better and better too.
“However, the title this season is a bit of a step too far. They have had too much to do from the poor start they’ve had.
“It’s just important that they keep this momentum up. They are full of confidence and Marcus Rashford looks like he can score in every game.
“There is no reason why they cannot go to Arsenal and get a result, but it is now so much more difficult without Casemiro.”
Redknapp added of Sunday’s game: “It’s going to be a great game.
“From a neutral’s point of view, you just want to see the best players out there – Partey against Casemiro or Casemiro up against Odegaard would have been perfect.
“But it is not to be. United will have to find a different way of playing, maybe with two defensive midfield players and make yourself reall difficult to play against.
“That is what the good managers earn the big money for.
“It will be interesting to see what Ten Hag’s tactics are without Casemiro.”
Analysis: Why that feels like a loss for Man Utd
Sky Sports’ Zinny Boswell at Selhurst Park:
“With that Casemiro booking, it almost feels like a loss for Man Utd.
“This was a huge chance for United to pile pressure on Arsenal ahead of Sunday’s game at the Emirates.
“But now the Gunners know that regardless of what happens this weekend they will be at least five points clear at the top.
“Plus, United will be without their most key player, who was monumental again for them at Selhurst Park.”