Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has suggested that match day referee Paul Tierney’s decision to not award us a penalty in the first half of the game against Manchester City was ultimately the turning point in the game.
With the visitors to St Mary’s Stadium taking the lead, we did equalise through Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg before he ultimately saw red late on in the game, but with the scores tied a one apiece, James Ward-Prowse tumbled in the penalty box following a challenge by Oleksandr Zinchenko, but the calls were waved away.
Two minutes later Raheem Sterling’s effort deflected in off JWP and a quick third decided the points.
Speaking to Sky Sports following the game, Hasenhuttl felt that had the penalty been awarded and converted, it would’ve put Pep Guardiola’s side on the backfoot given their own recent form and the game would’ve turned out differently for us.
“I thought 100 per cent penalty. The referee can’t give it if he’s not 100 per cent. It was a crucial scene of the match and the next crucial thing is that we went into half-time at 3-1. That is not possible to come back. That is too easy in this moment and that killed the match. Afterwards we said about finding the good mixture between using the substitutions to prepare for Chelsea or going for the draw, but at home against such a good team it’s not so easy.”
Understandable from the gaffer’s point of view, it may not have stopped the defeat ultimately but it would’ve swung the momentum more in our favour and going into the break with the advantage could’ve made all the difference.