Thursday 19 September 2019

Austin left fuming by linesman's call

Southampton's Charlie Austin. Photo: Reuters/Matthew Childs
Southampton's Charlie Austin. Photo: Reuters/Matthew Childs

Ben Findon

Charlie Austin, who in the immediate aftermath of Southampton's 0-0 draw with Watford let loose an emotional diatribe over his disallowed goal that probably cost his team a much-needed victory, has revealed how he discovered his strike was ruled out.

The substitute raced across to the home dugout to join in extravagant touchline celebrations after 'scoring' in the 66th minute of a tense match.

For a few seconds it seemed Southampton were firmly on course for their first home victory of the season but St Mary's was left astounded when referee Simon Hooper ruled the goal out.

The rookie official thought, erroneously, that the ball had struck Austin's team-mate Maya Yoshida, who was standing in an offside position, on its way past Watford goalkeeper Ben Foster.

"I don't think anyone realised. Mo (Elyounoussi, Southampton substitute) was the one who said 'Chas, it's offside. Chas, it's offside'. I couldn't believe it," said Austin.

"I knew it didn't hit anyone else from the edge of the box. It's a poor decision. I asked the linesman 'Why did you give that?' and he said, 'It wasn't me, it was the referee'.

"It's a joke. We go on about VAR (video assistant referee) this, VAR that. Help the officials out, clearly they need help.

"We play in the Premier League, the best league in the world, the most-watched league in the world. Give them all the help they need because clearly they cost us two points today. It's a joke."

Southampton had been leading thanks to Manolo Gabbiadini's 20th-minute strike and they were denied a rare triumph in front of their own fans when Watford's Jose Holebas equalised home, via a deflection off Cedric, eight minutes from the end.

Southampton, however, also benefited from another questionable decision. Ryan Bertrand, already on a yellow card, appeared to bring down Nathaniel Chalobah but Hooper waved away concerted penalty appeals. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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