Mark Hughes was left frustrated by the officials’ reluctance to use VAR for a potentially game-changing decision, as a Southampton equaliser was harshly ruled out en route to Emirates FA Cup semi-final defeat against Chelsea at Wembley.
Saints were beaten by goals early and late in the second half, scored by Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata respectively, but it was a key moment at 1-0 that irritated Hughes.
Chelsea keeper Willy Caballero made a mess of a high ball and dropped it into his own net, only for Charlie Austin to be penalised for an alleged foul.
“If ever there was a situation with a game-defining moment… it should’ve been reviewed in my view,” said Hughes.
“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.
“At the very least it should’ve been referred to VAR. 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.”
The Saints boss admitted Saints shot themselves in the foot by conceding just 28 seconds into the second half, but was left ruing an absence of luck in the remainder of the game, as the club’s best FA Cup run for 15 years came to an end.
“I thought the response after that was really good,” he added. “We took the game to them, created chances and Shane Long had a great opportunity to get back on level terms.
“We’ve had the moment with the keeper mishandling and Nathan’s had a great shot that the keeper’s saved but doesn’t know anything about it, and we’ve had one that’s hit the post.
“We just needed a little bit of luck in those moments and unfortunately the officials made the decision not to refer.”