Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett has claimed that Jon Moss got his decision wrong when overturning Southampton’s penalty against Manchester City.
Saints were denied a good chance to take a huge win away from the Etihad Stadium after the original call to give a penalty and send off City defender Kyle Walker was changed with the help of VAR.
The moment has certainly caused controversy – other former referees back Moss’ call but pundits and fans disagree with the final verdict that was reached on the pitch. It appears that Hackett feels that same way as Saints fans though.
Writing in his caughtoffside.com column, he suggests that VAR was wrong to intervene through the clear and obvious criteria and that Moss then “displayed weakness” by going with VAR and agreeing to overrule his own call once he had watched the incident back on the pitchside monitor.
Southampton on wrong side of unfortunate circumstances
There is no doubt that Saints could have easily had a spot-kick on Saturday and the chance to claim a famous win over big-spending City.
Even with VAR involvement, the penalty could have been given after review had other parts of the collision between Adam Armstrong and Kyle Walker been looked at.
The official line was that Armstrong made the contact and was already going down before the decisive moment occurred. However, it can also be looked at in an entirely different way.
Armstrong stretches and gets a touch of the ball before Walker but Walker’s attempt to get there first sees him wrap his leg around his opponent. Armstrong can, therefore, not advance any further and cannot get himself into a position to take a shot.
It looked accidental from Walker and it was the right call to take back him red card. That does not mean that his actions did not impede Armstrong though and a penalty should surely have still been awarded.