Jamie Carragher: Southampton should not have been awarded that controversial penalty

Jamie Carragher: Southampton should not have been awarded that controversial penalty Solly March was judged by VAR to have fouled Kyle Walker-Peters inside the area, despite the initial push appearing to occur outside the box, for which on-field referee David Coote gave a free kick.

However, there was a tangle of legs just after that happened as the pair reached the inside of the box, sending Walker-Peters over, and VAR official Peter Bankes deemed that it was enough to award a Southampton penalty. Danny Ings converted from the spot to seal a 2-1 win.

VAR judged that Solly March had fouled Kyle Walker-Peters inside the area after on-field referee David Coote initially awarded a free-kick; Danny Ings scored the resulting penalty to hand Southampton a 2-1 victory on Monday Night Football. Jamie Carragher has emphatically said Southampton should not have been awarded a controversial late penalty against Brighton, but Ralph Hasenhuttl believes it was the right decision.

It proved to be another controversial VAR decision, with Carragher staunchly making the case that it should not have been given.

He told Monday Night Football: “It’s a foul, there’s no doubt it was a foul, it’s just whether it’s two fouls or one. “There’s a slight push in the back and you see that’s when the referee gives it when it’s outside the box – you can see it’s outside the box. It’s the next bit and I don’t know how you can say that it’s a foul. Is it March putting his leg across him? Is it Walker-Peters kicking him in the back of the leg?

“VAR are not giving [the push outside the area] as a penalty, they’re not. You couldn’t do that. The initial contact, it’s obvious the feet are outside the box. The reason they’ve given it is for this [as the players go inside the area]. I think it’s extremely harsh and I don’t think it’s a penalty. “In the 77th minute of Brighton vs. Southampton, referee David Coote awarded a free-kick just outside the penalty area for a foul by Solly March on Kyle Walker-Peters.

“The VAR checked the incident and advised the referee that the foul given had occurred inside the area and the decision should be changed to a penalty. “The Referee Review Area was not used by the referee as this was a factual decision.”

“This isn’t one for the referee to go and look at the monitor, it’s factual, a bit like offside. Is it in the box, is it outside the box? It now doesn’t become whether it’s inside or outside – it’s clearly outside initially and the next foul is inside the box. “So the question is whether it is a foul and from VAR’s point of view, they should have asked the referee to go and look. I’ve said before, going to the monitor is a waste of time because no one ever changes their decision.

“I said last week that I feel at times, VAR was brought in to help officials and we all wanted it to come in to help – the game goes a million miles an hour so how can they see things? But I think VAR has exposed certain officials when they’ve had that second chance to look at things and they still get things wrong. For me, that is another case a point where I don’t think it’s a penalty.” Former Arsenal forward Freddie Ljungberg joined Carragher on MNF and roundly agreed that the VAR decision was incorrect.

He said: “I agree that it’s a free-kick outside the box but the secondary contact… For me, he [Walker-Peters] kicks into his [March’s] leg. It’s not the other way around. They’re both falling, Walker-Peters’ leg comes up and goes into March behind his knee.

“That’s what surprises me. We’ve looked at it 15 times, and we are still not really sure. The second part of me is not a penalty for me, l can’t see why they have given a penalty. I think it’s quite clear that it shouldn’t be a penalty. “Discussing these things with VAR, I don’t think is right. He [Coote] took the decision to start with for a free-kick outside the box, I have no problem with that, but then to wait two minutes for VAR to make this decision with that little thing of Walker-Peters hitting March behind the kneecap – now I have a problem with that.

“As a football fan, I think it becomes boring. When it takes this long, you can always find something but there’s not one player complaining about it in real-time. Walker-Peters is even running after the ball to press then that’s when I feel we’ve got it wrong a little bit.” The victory sent Southampton into fifth and manager Hasenhuttl believes the winning penalty was correctly awarded.

He said: “I think the penalty was inside. It was a little bit inside the line so it was clear that the contact was inside the box and it was a penalty. That’s why we have the VAR.

“The longer the decision took, the more I was convinced it was a penalty. It’s the right decision. For decisions like that it’s tough for the referee to see but it’s easier for VAR.” Brighton manager Graham Potter was in a more accepting mood immediately after the game, but remained unhappy with the result overall.

He told Sky Sports: “I haven’t seen it back. It looks like the first challenge is outside and I don’t know if there was a second challenge. It’s what the referee seemed to think and that’s how it is.

“I think that’s what they’re talking about, whether factually the offence is deemed to be inside and prove that it’s the case, then that’s what we’re using it for I suppose. It’s just one of those things you have to accept.

“From our perspective, we’re a little bit disappointed with our second-half performance overall. Having said that, I thought it was quite an even game. There wasn’t much in it, Southampton had some opportunities and so did we so we’re disappointed with the result.”

Source – SkySports

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