MARCEL SABITZER somehow avoided a red card for a horror studs-up tackle into Wout Faes’ knee.

And Graeme Souness accused the on-loan Manchester United midfielder of DELIBERATELY trying to hurt his opponent in the X-rated challenge.

Marcel Sabitzer escaped a red card for this tackle on Wout Faes


Marcel Sabitzer escaped a red card for this tackle on Wout FaesCredit: Sky Sports
The on-loan midfielder went into the knee with his studs


The on-loan midfielder went into the knee with his studsCredit: Sky Sports
Faes was fortunate to avoid serious injury


Faes was fortunate to avoid serious injuryCredit: Sky Sports

Faes and Sabitzer battled for the ball on the edge of the Leicester penalty area in the 41st minute at Old Trafford.

The big-haired Belgian got there first and kicked it away.

And with the ball already gone, Austrian Sabitzer arrived late and turned his body to stick a full set of studs into Faes’ knee.

Faes needed treatment from the Foxes physios but was thankfully not seriously hurt and able to carry on.

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Referee Stuart Attwell gave a free-kick to the visitors but inexplicably did not show a card.

And during the stoppage, VAR Paul Tierney looked at the replays but decided against intervening.

Souness said on Sky Sports: “I think this is red for several reasons. He’s on his heels when it breaks to him.

“He’s turned side on to him – if you’re gonna do someone that’s what you do – go side on.

“He’s looking for the player.”

After being told the VAR officials looked at the incident but felt no further action was needed, Souness said: “I don’t care what ref who’s never played the game has to say.

“If that’s not dangerous I don’t know what is.”

Ex-United defender Gary Neville thought the challenge warranted a yellow card because Sabitzer did not follow through or go in with lots of force.

But viewers watching on at home were left in disbelief that Sabitzer was allowed to continue on the pitch and were convinced the shocking tackle was worthy of a red card.

One said: “What is the actual point of VAR when this is not given a red card? Absolutely terrible from the referee and the VAR.”

Another wrote: “Old Trafford luck saving Sabitzer from a clear red card.”

A third added: “You can file that Sabitzer foul under the ‘Granit Xhaka gets sent off for that’ catalogue.”

And a final user commented: “How Sabitzer was sent off for this I will never understand.”

Brendan Rodgers’ frustration only grew further immediately after his midfielder Papy Mendy was booked early in the second half for a clean sliding tackle on Marcus Rashford, who had put the Red Devils in front on 25 minutes.

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And United got the break with VAR yet again at Old Trafford when Rashford made it 2-0.

The goal was initially chalked off when the assistant’s flag went up and replays appeared to show he was just offside – only for the green line to appear and award the goal.

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