Man United captain Harry Maguire says kick at Michy Batshuayi was his 'natural reaction'


Manchester United enjoyed the benefit of some contentious decisions in their 2-0 win over Chelsea on Monday evening.

Harry Maguire probably should have seen red in the first half before the Blues had two second-half goals disallowed by VAR.

The first was for a push by Cesar Azpilicueta on Brandon Williams, although it looked like the Chelsea defender was himself pushed.

And Olivier Giroud thought he had pulled a goal back but VAR chalked his header off as he was marginally offside.

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard complained about the first two decisions in his post-match press conference.

Maguire should have got sent off, I think that’s quite clear,” Lampard told Sky Sports. “The first two definitely went against us.”

Maguire escaped without punishment for kicking Michy Batshuayi in the groin in a moment that could have had huge implications.

If Man United were reduced to 10 men in the 21st minute, it’s hard to picture them leaving Stamford Bridge with a 2-0 win.

But he escaped Scot free and scored the second goal in United’s win.


The England international was asked about his clash after the match and very few are buying his excuse for kicking Batshuayi.

Maguire insisted he meant no harm and that he straightened his leg because he thought the Chelsea forward was going to fall on him.

“I knew I caught him,” Maguire told Sky Sports. “But I felt like he was going to fall on me and my natural reaction was to straighten my leg, if he was to fall on me to hold him up.

“Obviously I’ve got studs on my boots and it probably looks worse than it does on TV but it was my natural reaction. It wasn’t a kick out, it wasn’t any intent or anything like that.

“It was just my natural reaction to straighten my leg and, if he was going to fall on me, just to hold him up.

“I knew I did catch him and I knew at the time but I think it’s the right decision in the end.”

Maguire added: “I apologised to him but it was nice that the referee saw sense.”

The £75 million, who scored his first Premier League goal for the Red Devils, was never going to admit to having bad intentions.

But football fans on Twitter aren’t buying his defence.

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He looks like a man who knows he got away with one.

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