American Football

Southampton boss Mark Hughes disappointed VAR was not consulted during FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea

Mark Hughes throws his arms into the air during the match at Wembley

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Mark Hughes was baffled as to why the video assistant referee was not consulted for a "match-defining" moment in Southampton's FA Cup semi-final defeat to Chelsea.

Blues goalkeeper Willy Caballero dropped the ball into his own net during the second half at Wembley but referee Martin Atkinson disallowed the goal and penalised Saints striker Charlie Austin for a foul.

Chelsea were 1-0 up at that stage thanks to Olivier Giroud, and substitute Alvaro Morata sealed a 2-0 success with a late header.

Unhappy Saints boss Hughes was dismayed with the overall performance of the officials and believes Atkinson should have utilised VAR technology following Caballero's fumble.

"There's disappointment because the situation where the goalkeeper's made a wrong decision, basically thrown the ball into the back of his net," the Welshman said.

"If ever there was a situation for VAR to play a hand and step in to review that, I would have thought that was an opportunity.

"It was a match-defining moment, a key moment. Who knows how the game might have followed from that moment? Why it wasn't referred? I have no idea.

"Giroud handled from the following corner, another they could have reviewed, but maybe that was a bit too quick for him.

"We're disappointed with the officials on the day, and whoever it is who sits in a darkened room.

"We will speak (to the officials). I'm not sure how the process works. Does the referee make an instant decision? Do they tell him?"

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