Maguire defends Lindelof after controversial WBA goal

Sunday 14 February 2021 17:36

Harry Maguire has defended centre-back partner Victor Lindelof after West Bromwich Albion’s contentious opening goal in a 1-1 draw with Manchester United on Sunday.

The Reds went behind in the opening two minutes through a header from Mbaye Diagne, but replays suggested that the Senegalese striker had placed his hand over the Swede’s eyes.

United fought back through Bruno Fernandes’ equaliser, and almost won it late on when Maguire was denied by a fantastic Sam Johnstone save, but the skipper felt the Baggies’ goal should never have been allowed to stand.
Maguire: We have to take our chances Video

Maguire: We have to take our chances

Captain Harry Maguire was frustrated after the Reds were held to a draw at The Hawthorns…

“It’s a big frustration,” said Harry. “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.

“But I’m fed up of hearing ‘people can do better’. ‘David 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 was particularly aggrieved because he had a goal ruled out at Burnley only last month, where he was perceived to have fouled Erik Pieters before heading home.

Our no.5 claimed that Diagne’s infringement was much more unfair, and said it revealed that there was a lack of consistency in the Premier League from week to week.

“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!” stressed Maguire.

“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. But 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.

Should Maguire’s goal have stood? Video

Should Maguire’s goal have stood?

Harry Maguire was unfortunate to see his first-half header ruled out against Burnley in January...

“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. But 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.”

The 27-year-old felt we did enough to win the game, but believed the first goal had a big effect on the flow of the match.

“For sure we need to improve, we need to do better. We need to not be waiting until the last kick of the game to create big chances, but we dominated the half, we dominated the game, and we know that we're not going to come here and create nine, 10 chances – that doesn't happen. You need to get the first goal and then things open up, and the first goal is crucial.”