Date: 23rd April 2018 at 12:04pm
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Manager Mark Hughes has bemoaned the reluctance of the officials to consult the Video Assistant Referee system as Southampton fell to defeat to Chelsea in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final.

Losing the game at Wembley 2-0, Hughes’ main focus at the full-time whistle was on the disallowed goal at the 1-0 stage in the game as he felt had that been awarded, the match could well have turned out differently for us.

Goals on the day came from Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata, but with the score at 1-0 Willy Caballero made a complete mess of a collection and dropped the ball into his own net. Unfortunately for us, match day referee Martin Atkinson adjudged Charlie Austin to have committed a foul in the build-up and he scratched it off on that basis.

Speaking to saintsfc as he met with the media following the game, the Welshman explained.

“If ever there was a situation with a game-defining moment…it should’ve been reviewed in my view. The referee reckoned it was a foul, which clearly it wasn’t, and it begs the question whether or not he wasn’t inclined to give situations like that.”

Hughes went on to restate his belief that with it potentially being such an important moment, it should naturally have been referred to the VAR system or the VAR staff should be allowed to inform the referee of his mistake in the moment.

“It’s one of those clear situations, where, if we’re going to introduce video refereeing, surely that’s one of the situations to review to make sure you get those key decisions in games correct. Obviously, if that goes for us, it’s a huge moment in the game, but they haven’t even bothered referring it.”

Having fallen behind in the game, Hughes did say he felt the response from the squad had been spot on and he was pleased with how we came out of our defensive shell and tried to take the game to them, creating chances as we went. Ultimately he felt we lacked a bit of luck on the day.

Having seen the replays, it was never a foul in my humble. I can see why Hughes wants that to be the talking point as opposed to the potential penalty on Shane Long though – I think the referee got that one right sadly.

 

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