Roy Keane has risked angering Manchester United fans by claiming PSV Eindhoven defender Hector Moreno made a “brilliant challenge” on Luke Shaw.
The outspoken Irishman, who never shirked a full-blooded challenge during his playing career, feels the lack of reaction from the Manchester United players closest to the incident indicates the tackle was firm but fair.
Moreno has been blasted by Manchester United fans on social media after making the tackle on Shaw, who suffered a double fracture of the right leg and is subsequently expected to be out of action until March at the very earliest.
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"I thought it was a brilliant challenge. I love the physical side of the game,” Keane was quoted as saying on ITV by the Daily Star.
"You can always tell by player reactions and none of the United lads at the time, and players are best judges because they are nearest the tackle, didn't react over the top thinking it was a bad challenge, obviously at the end of it.
"And when players are travelling that speed, defending like that, injuries are going to happen.
"I'm surprised there are not more like it. It was more of an accident at the end of with his trailing foot."
Webb: Referee made the right call
Interestingly, former referee Howard Webb believes Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli was right not to book Moreno for the challenge.
“Luke Shaw’s injury was awful and I wish him a speedy recovery. But I have got to say that the referee made the right decision on the night,” the ex-match official, who took charge of the 2010 World Cup final, was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.
“Moreno stretches with his right leg, which plays the ball cleanly. His left leg makes some contact on the follow through, but it is always tucked away under him and not aimed towards Luke Shaw.
“Luke is unlucky in that he gets his studs caught and twists, which causes the injury, but on the night, I think the referee made the right decision.”
Man United fans react on Twitter
United fans have voiced their disbelief at the comments from both Keane and Webb on social media - and here are a few of the best tweets.
Is Roy Keane right? Was the tackle that broke Luke Shaw’s leg actually a fair one? Have your say by leaving a comment in the box below!