Erik ten Hag hit out at the inconsistent implementation of VAR after Manchester United and Crystal Palace players clashed but only Casemiro was sent off for “crossing the line”.
Bruno Fernandes’ early penalty and Marcus Rashford’s strike put the Red Devils on course for a 13th consecutive home win in all competitions which ended after 20 minutes had passed.
Jeffrey Schlupp kicked Antony off the pitch, sparking a brawl involving both teams of players which ended with Casemiro receiving a straight red card for violent behaviour.
Referee Andre Marriner was advised to check the pitchside monitor with the VAR to review images of the Brazil international grabbing Will Hughes by the throat.
But Ten Hag said the Palace players should be punished for their role in a melee that led to a frantic conclusion to the game, Schlupp pulling back only for United to run out 2-1 winners.
“We played a good game,” said the Dutchman. “I think we played a great game.
“The first 70 minutes was a very high level until the incident happened and then you see that this team stands up for each other.
“This is a good spirit for the team and they do not accept when a player from us can be seriously injured. That is how Antony was treated.
“This team stays together, but of course you have to control your emotions, but it’s very difficult at this point.
“Then I see two teams fighting each other, I see two teams with players, several players, crossing the line and then one player is picked off and sent off. For me, that’s not right.”
Ten Hag said Schlupp took a “big risk” by pushing Antony off the field, saying it could have been “bad”.
The United boss said Jordan Ayew should “definitely” have been sent off for his actions in the ensuing fight, with the recent lack of VAR consistency bothering him.
“You give it up, but that was one of the players who did even worse, I would say, than Casemiro,” said Ayew’s Ten Hag. “With Casemiro, you freeze the moment and he’s crossing the line there, but I make sure.
“You have to be consistent as a VAR. Last week we lost Christian Eriksen (who is out for three months) with a bad lie. No interference from VAR.
“In Crystal Palace (last month), (Jean-Phillipe) Mateta is elbowing (Lisandro) Martinez, he’s been running for two weeks with a mark on his brow and (VAR’s) not interfering. I see this is not right.”
Ten Hag says United must consider whether to appeal Casemiro’s promotion – a straight red means his next home game is the Carabao Cup final on February 26.
Crystal Palace counterpart Patrick Vieira was less sanguine about his thoughts on the official.
The great French tackled straight to the referee Marriner at full time, but, asked what he said to the officials, he replied: “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Vieira said he was too far away to have a clear view of the incident which ended with Casemiro being sent off on an evening when Palace threatened to pull another late draw against United.
“I think we showed character,” said the Palace boss. “Disappointed with the start, our first half.
“I think we defended well. We were well organized but when we won the ball we couldn’t get it together.
“We lost the ball a little too quickly in the first half, and it was much better in the second half.