Harry Maguire defends Jordan Pickford over Man United penalty claim: ‘I fouled him first’

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has moved to back international teammate Jordan Pickford, on the back of the latest controversial incident surrounding the Everton shot-stopper.

Fernandes makes the difference

United made the trip to Goodison Park on Saturday, for their latest Premier League outing.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men headed into proceedings desperate for all 3 points, on the back of a dismal start to the club’s league campaign.

Ahead of kick-off on Merseyside, the Red Devils sat in a lowly 16th in the English top-flight, fresh off a pair of defeats over the week prior.

When all was said and done a little over 24 hours ago, though, the visitors bounced back, and in style.

It was Everton who opened the game’s scoring, when Bernard slotted home beyond David de Gea from the edge of the area.

From here on in, though, Man of the Match Bruno Fernandes simply took over.

The Portuguese midfielder first netted the Reds’ opener with a superb header 25 minutes in, before bagging his brace after seeing a tantalising delivery into the Everton box make its way in off the back post.

And Fernandes was back at it again in injury-time, teeing up Edinson Cavani for the Uruguayan’s first in the colours of Manchester United, courtesy of a perfectly disguised pass.

Highlights: Everton 1-3 Man United

‘Don’t think it was’

Whilst, in the end, United bagged 3 goals at Goodison, many were of the opinion that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s outfit were actually hard done by in not being handed the chance to add another from the penalty spot.

During the 2nd-half, a delivery into the Everton box saw the ball dropped by Jordan Pickford, before the Toffees no.1 and Harry Maguire came together in a physical challenge.

Maguire actually won the ball, directing an effort back across goal, only to be kneed in the midriff by his international teammate.

A subsequent VAR check, however, saw Michael Oliver decide against against awarding a spot-kick, much to the frustration of the Manchester United faithful.

But, as outlined above, in the aftermath of yesterday’s clash, one individual to have since come to the stern defence of Pickford is none other than Harry Maguire himself.

Speaking in an interview with the Red Devils’ official website, club captain Maguire was quick to point to the fact that he had actually pushed the Everton star before the 2nd coming together between the pair (a claim which replays backed).

As such, Maguire feels as though a penalty being awarded against Pickford, who has of course come in for heavy criticism of late, would have been ‘soft’:

‘I just explained this in there, I personally don’t think it was [a penalty]. I think maybe I fouled Jordan first. I did put a hand into his chest when he went to catch the ball and I did feel contact on my knee.’

‘I felt like I probably pushed Jordan before and I know everyone’s probably trying to jump on him dropping the ball but I did feel like I pushed him. I’d say [a penalty] would have been a little bit soft.’

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Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has moved to back international teammate Jordan Pickford, on the back of the latest controversial incident surrounding the Everton shot-stopper. Fernandes makes the difference United made the trip to Goodison Park on Saturday, for their latest Premier League outing. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men headed into proceedings desperate for all 3Football (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed

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