Solskjaer’s comments on Martial bite back as Owen slams Man Utd star

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's previous comments have come back to haunt him after Anthony Martial was criticised for diving in Man Utd's win over Southampton.

The French forward came off the bench at half-time to score twice and win his side a penalty in the 9-0 hammering on Tuesday.

But it was his role in the spot kick decision which overshadowed the rest of United's performance as Saints' defender Jan Bednarek was sent off.

Martial went down easily inside the box, leading referee Mike Dean to point to the spot.

And after consulting VAR, Dean brandished the red card to Bednarek, leaving ex-United striker Michael Owen venting his fury on Twitter.

"That absolutely sums things up," Owen tweeted. "The best thing is it hardly matters. But if that’s a pen then the game has officially gone.

"Biggest example of a dive I’ve seen in ages. Shambles."

Solskjaer admitted himself after the match that Bednarek should not have been sent off, but by the letter of the law Dean had no other option.

But it was Martial's admission in the aftermath of the decision which will be of more cringing concern to his manager.

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As Bednarek trudged off the field he protested: "Martial said it's not a foul."

BT Sport pundit Glenn Hoddle was in agreement after the final whistle, explaining: "At that time I think Martial was on his way down before the contact was made, if I’m really honest."

That will be difficult for Solskjaer to hear, given his staunch defence of his players, including Martial, only six months ago.

Speaking after the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea in July, Solskjaer said: "One hundred percent I will defend my players, they’re not divers, none of them try to con the referee at all."

Should Martial face retrospective action for his dive? Have your say below.

Meanwhile Owen did not lay the blame solely at Martial's door, pointing the finger at the official who should have overturned the decision after consulting the VAR monitor.

"I admire Mike Dean. He’s always been a referee who has shown real courage under pressure. But tonight’s decision was the perfect opportunity to stand out from the crowd," Owen said.

"We really need someone who understands the game to make these big calls. That was an absolute joke tonight."

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