Sport Soccer

Wednesday 20 February 2019

Saints boss Mauricio Pellegrino calls for video technology in Premier League

Abdoulaye Doucoure's handball was missed by the officials
Abdoulaye Doucoure's handball was missed by the officials

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino wants video technology to be fast-tracked into the Premier League.

Saints were victims of a blatant injustice on Saturday when Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure scored a last-minute equaliser with his hand.

The incident was missed by referee Roger East and assistant Derek Eaton - and in fairness to the officials by most in attendance at Vicarage Road.

But television replays showed a clear handball which the new Video Assistant Referee system - trialled last week in the FA Cup and Carabao Cup - would have picked up instantly.

The VAR debate rumbles on but if ever there was a case for it to be implemented then this was it.

Even Watford captain Troy Deeney admitted the goal would have been disallowed had technology been used.

And Pellegrino said: " I've never seen this type of mistake in the Premier League before. To have this injustice is really hard.

"I think we have to try and analyse if it's possible to help the sport to make better decisions, even for the referee.

"We have to try using video technology in the Premier League.

"In every single team sport technology helps us to make better decicisions. Why not football?"

It was hard to swallow for Southampton, who were on the verge of a first win in 10 league matches thanks to two first-half goals from James Ward-Prowse.

But Andre Gray pulled one back just before the hour and the late controversy prevented Watford from slipping to a seventh defeat in their last eight matches.

Hornets winger Roberto Pereyra was grateful for their huge slice of luck.

"We managed to get a point which will allow us to get more confidence for the next games," he told the club's official website.

"We think they will all be difficult matches from now until May."

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