Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reacted to claims by Chelsea boss Frank Lampard that Bruno Fernandes is “clever”, a suggestion that the United midfielder cons referees to win penalties for his side.
United face Chelsea in one of the FA Cup semifinal games on Sunday and Lampard was first with the mind games, pointing out that the Red Devils have won a number of penalties this season.
United have been awarded 13 penalties this season, equalling a Premier League record.
But furious Solskjaer rubbished the notion his lightning-quick attackers cheat.
“100 per cent I will defend my players, none of them try to con the ref at all” insisted the United boss.
“If you have quick feet like Dan James, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial or Mason Greenwood and you get tackles in or around the box, some ankles could’ve been broken for our players.
“I just want them to be protected.
“There should have been a red card for Oriol Romeu when he almost crippled Mason Greenwood in the Southampton game maybe that would have helped us.
“And the same when Mark Noble should’ve been sent off half yard in front of me at West Ham when he battered Aaron Wan Bissaka and we lost there.”
Solakjaer confirmed defender Luke Shaw will miss the game as he recovers from an ankle injury.
But full back Brandon Williams is training again after a nasty head wound against Southampton.
The United boss also looks set to stick with stand-in keeper Sergio Romero who has played in all this season’s FA Cup games.