Vestergaard Sees Red as Officials Embarrass Themselves
Even before the ball was kicked, UK broadcaster Sky Sports was keen to point out that Southampton once lost to their opponents by a record score line.
Much to Saints fans’ chagrin, unfortunate circumstances allowed commentator Martin Tyler, to make yet more parallels.
Back in 2019, Ryan Bertrand was sent for an early bath as a result of a poor challenge after just 12 minutes of action. Vestergaard sadly beat that with just 10 minutes on the clock.
Unlike his colleague though, the international can feel aggrieved by his harsh treatment.
Just outside the penalty area the centre back allows the ball to run past him. This mistake is enough for Vardy to see his opportunity.
Vestergaard attempts to rectify the situation and appears to nick the ball away ahead of the striker. Despite getting the ball first, the defender’s follow through connects with his opponent.
With an instant slide required and the marksman advancing contact was unavoidable.
It is possible that the defender was dismissed for dangerous play, however the Professional Game Match Officials Limited appeared to rule this out.
News site Hampshire Live further explains:
“The board have explained that Vestergaard was sent off for the ‘clear denial of a goalscoring opportunity’, despite winning the ball, and not for ‘serious foul play’…”
If reckless play is ruled out, then Vestergaard’s challenge was a perfectly legitimate one. The Saints man connected with the ball before the player.
Despite the footage being clear and obvious, the Video Assistant Referee declined to query the decision and Jannik was given his marching orders.
This is sadly not the first time that referees have shown their incompetence as Jan Bednarek will attest. Bednarek was sent off at Old Trafford after he apparently fouled Anthony Martial in the penalty area. This was despite making very little if any contact with the attacker.
He was never the less shown a straight red for supposedly making no attempt to play the ball. As much as VAR critics might try, the system itself can’t be blamed.
On that night in Manchester, the referee consulted the monitor to make his decision, while VAR official Jonathan Moss did nothing to change this latest nonsense.
Both in Lancashire and now at st Mary’s human error has been at fault.
Sadly, these are far from the only questionable calls the Premier League has seen this season. Rule reinterpretations, inconsistency, and not to mention needless mistakes, has left English officiating with a shaky reputation in the eyes of many fans.
A big screen and Hawk-Eye technology cannot compensate for poor referees. The tool is meant to help good referees avoid big mistakes. Instead, it is ably demonstrating that EPL officials have a long way to go before they can be considered amongst the world’s elite.
The sending off changed the flow of the game as offensive threat Nathan Tella had to be withdrawn to compensate.
The youngster had looked bright in the early going and in fact should have scored from his one Chance on goal.
A man light, Southampton where inevitably forced to fight from the back foot and soak up more pressure. This didn’t stop Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men from causing trouble.