Ole Gunnar Solskjaer questions rule change after Manchester United deny free kick

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said the Premier League risks looking like rugby games after Bruno Fernandes was denied a free kick in Manchester United’s draw against Southampton.

Fernandes was furious that he didn’t receive a free kick following a solid challenge from Jack Stephens and Southampton quickly scored thanks to Che Adams’ deflected shot in the 30th minute.

Premier League referees have been ordered to allow games to run more smoothly and not penalize so many physical challenges and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp accused Burnley of “struggling” in his loss at Anfield on Saturday .

“We should do better,” Solskjaer said of United’s defense for the goal. “If you’re not making a mistake, we have to make sure we block the shot, put your body on the line and make sure they don’t shoot at the target.

“That being said, it’s a fault, [Stephens] goes directly through Bruno, with his arm and hip across him. We can’t go from an extreme of volleyball or basketball last season to rugby now. I like the more lenient way, it’s more men’s football but still, it’s a fault.

“That being said, you could see from the start, with the fans, that the crowd was going up to tackle and we had a few tackles that were part of their thinking at the start, if you will.”

United equalized 10 minutes into the second half thanks to Mason Greenwood, but were lukewarm in the midst of their attempts to score a game-winning goal.

Solskjaer introduced Jadon Sancho for Anthony Martial before Scott McTominay and Jesse Lingard came out but, for the fourth season in a row, United have failed to win their second game of the season.

“After we scored we did well to score the goal, build pressure, have another five or six minutes with a good spell, and then we got lost a bit,” said Solskjaer. “And maybe the fatigue, the carelessness came in and we gave their crowd some things to cheer about because they had a few counterattacks and some dangerous times.”

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