Clear and obvious error? Hasenhuttl questions Moss’ ‘bravery’

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has questioned whether referee Jonathan Moss should have overturned a contentious penalty decision in their goalless draw at Manchester City.

A resolute display saw Southampton reduce City to just the one shot on target at the Etihad, and the visitors thought they had a chance to break the deadlock from the penalty spot in the second half.

Kyle Walker rushed back to deny Adam Armstrong a shooting opportunity, with Moss awarding a penalty and showing the City full-back a straight red.

However, after City’s protests and a VAR review, Moss overturned both decisions when consulting the pitchside monitor.

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Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl claimed the decision to overturn a penalty for his side against Manchester City was incorrect

Per Premier League rules, VAR can be used to overturn a subjective decision if a “clear and obvious error” has been identified, and Hasenhuttl took umbrage with this when questioning Moss for changing his mind.

“We had the feeling it was not a clear wrong decision but when the referee thinks it is a clear wrong decision he has to overrule it. He did it. It is a pity for us but we have to accept it,” Hasenhuttl said.

“If we want to win here we have to have a perfect game and a perfect day. I think tactically we had a nearly perfect one but we needed a bit of luck to get such a penalty and this was not there.”

In quotes running on Southampton’s website, Hasenhuttl argued Moss lacked bravery to stick with his initial decision.

“For me it wasn’t a clear wrong decision but I think he was not brave enough,” Hasenhuttl said.

Having watched the match for Soccer Saturday, Clinton Morrison said afterwards that he does not think it was a clear mistake.

“Kyle Walker gets his leg across Armstrong,” said Morrison. “I don’t think VAR thinks there’s enough contact. I’m still 50-50. I don’t think it was a clear and obvious mistake. Walker was moaning that a team-mate didn’t make an angle for him to make a pass; he didn’t seem to be moaning about the penalty.”

In pictures: Moss overturns Walker red card and penalty

Image: Kyle Walker and Adam Armstrong collided inside the penalty area
Image: Jonathan Moss watched the incident back on the pitchside monitor
Image: Walker smiles after his reprieve from referee Moss

How penalty drama played out on Soccer Saturday

“There is a penalty, but which way?” Jeff Sterling asked, before Clinton Morrison described the incident in real-time…

“It’s to Southampton, and Kyle Walker knows! He’s taken too long on the ball,” said Morrison. “Armstrong goes past Ruben Dias like he’s not there and Kyle Walker catches him. He goes down, it’s a stonewall penalty… and Walker knows.”

After more score updates across the leagues, Morrison was then surprised to find VAR were still checking the incident as City’s players protested.

Morrison added: “They are checking it… Armstrong has got across Walker, but he does catch him. It’s clever play from the centre forward. But they’re still looking, and Walker is arguing because he’s been sent off. He’s not left the pitch yet.

“There was definitely contact. If Armstrong had taken another step I think Walker would have got back, but I think Armstrong has done well and for me it’s a penalty.”

Stelling then asked “how can it take this long?”, before Morrison looked a little closer and insisted “he doesn’t get the ball,” adding: “It’s a penalty!”

Moss then made his way to the monitor. “He’s going to change his mind isn’t he, it’s a clear sign when they go to the monitor,” said Stelling.

Then the decision was made. “No penalty Jeff… I don’t know,” said Morrison. “The more you see it, Armstrong has his foot on it, Walker doesn’t get none of the ball, but does get across him. I don’t know how they’ve not given it, but they’ve gone to VAR, it’s not a penalty and Kyle Walker stays on the pitch.”

Hasenhuttl added: “When you play like we have played in the second half, and you hear that the crowd is starting to boo you know you’re doing something right.

“We can be proud of what we have shown today. It was a more than deserved point for us.”

Pep Guardiola’s response on the penalty incident was briefer during his post-match press conference, with the City boss saying: “I didn’t see it. I don’t have VAR on the bench. After, I was in the flash interviews and I didn’t watch the actions.”

City almost stole it at the death, but again VAR had a major role to play with Raheem Sterling deemed narrowly offside when following up to bundle the ball in after Phil Foden’s header was superbly saved by Alex McCarthy.

Hasenhuttl added: “I only thought, ‘Not now! It’s not fair if we now concede a goal’. It was the only moment where we didn’t follow the run, but we are normally pushing out very well, so I was always hoping it must be offside.

“It took a little bit longer, and the longer it takes the more nervous you get because you think it can be possible. In the end, yeah, we deserved to get something today.”

Pep: I feel ‘guilty’ over performance

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admitted his side were not good enough to break down a resolute Southampton side at the Etihad Stadium in the Premier League and blames a hangover from European competition

Meanwhile, Guardiola admitted he felt “a bit guilty” after City failed to deliver a winning performance for their fans against Southampton.

“Always when the game is not good I feel bad for them. They come to see a show, to see a game and when it doesn’t happen I feel a bit guilty because we didn’t play good.”

Guardiola’s comments about supporters on Wednesday sparked a heated debate about attendances at the Etihad Stadium and upset some fans who felt their loyalty was being questioned.

The Spaniard insisted on Friday that had never been his intention and he reiterated that stance after the Southampton game.

He said: “I didn’t say anything wrong after Leipzig. I said we had an incredibly tough game, had an incredibly tough game against Southampton and we would need the support of our fans.

“I never complained about how many come or don’t come. I have never thought this in my life. I don’t know why people are asking me this question. I am grateful even if 85 or 100 people come.”

Source : Sky Sports