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Hasenhuttl enraged after Southampton loss to Cardiff City

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Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl was fuming after Saints threw away the point it looked to have won in stoppage time versus Cardiff City on Saturday.

“We did it last week and the same again today,” Hasenhuttl said. “If we don’t stop this then we’ve no chance of staying in the league.”

[ MORE: Recap | Cardiff remembers Sala ]

Saints will finish the weekend in the relegation zone if Burnley gets a point or better at Brighton and Hove Albion (the Clarets have an early 1-0 lead), and Hasenhuttl says the Bottom Three will be their fate without improved resolve.

On Feb. 2, it was a penalty in stoppage time that allowed Burnley to draw Southampton 1-1. Groundhog Day in reverse.

This week, Jack Stephens scored in the first minute of stoppage time only to see Cardiff City’s Kenneth Zohore score in the third minute of stoppage to claim all three points.

“It can feel like a win if you take a draw like that, and then you give it away in a way. That’s stupid and unbelievable for me.”

Cardiff has climbed ahead of Southampton as well, and Saints next face Arsenal, Fulham, Manchester United, and Tottenham Hotspur. There’s four points in there if Hasenhuttl’s men are very fortunate. Zero might just end it.

Cardiff snatch dramatic late win at Saints (video)

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  • Zohore scores stoppage time winner
  • Back-to-back wins for first time this season for Cardiff
  • Southampton equalized in 91st minute 
  • Bamba put Cardiff ahead
  • First defeat in six for Saints

Cardiff City secured victory in a huge relegation scrap at Southampton, as the Bluebirds scored a dramatic winner in stoppage time.

In the same week as Emiliano Sala was confirmed dead, both clubs paid tribute to the Argentine striker and Cardiff’s club-record signing before the game with a minute’s silence.

Sol Bamba had given Cardiff the lead in the second half but Saints looked to have rescued a point as Jack Stephens equalized in stoppage time. However, Cardiff went straight up the other end and substitute Kenneth Zohore slotted in off the post to spark wild scenes in the away end at St Mary’s.

The win pushed Neil Warnock‘s men out of the relegation zone and into 15th place on 25 points, as they leapfrogged Burnley, Southampton and Newcastle.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Southampton had plenty of the ball early on but Cardiff looked dangerous from long throws as Neil Warnock’s men set up their stall early.

Saints struggled to get going in attack, as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg‘s shot from distance was the only one Neil Etheridge had to save.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

Cardiff didn’t get going in attack either, as Bobby Reid and Oumar Niasse had little service.

Before half time Bruno Manga blocked superbly as Nathan Redmond surged into the box as Southampton finished the first half strongly.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

In the second half Saints continued to see the majority of the ball but were hit by a Cardiff set piece. A corner was flicked to the back post and Bamba flicked home expertly to made it 1-0.

Saints then came so close to drawing level as Yan Valery‘s run saw his shot blocked, then substitute Charlie Austin and Mohamed Elyounoussi had shots cleared on the line by Manga and Lee Peltier. From the resulting corner Austin sent a header over.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ]

Stephens then finished at the back post in stoppage time to make it 1-1, and just as Southampton thought they were back in the game they lost it.

A long ball into the box found Cardiff sub Zohore who poked a shot home off the post to seal a huge win for the Bluebirds and cue wild scenes of celebration in the away end.

Dyche hammers officials after penalty kick drama

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Burnley received their first penalty kick in 68 games on Saturday, but their manager Sean Dyche was far from happy. 

He wanted two spot kicks.

Ashley Barnes dispatched a 94th-minute spot kick to snatch a 1-1 draw with Burnley’s relegation rivals Southampton, however Barnes looked to have been fouled in the first half by Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy but nothing was given.

Barnes was booked by referee Anthony Taylor for his anger at not getting a penalty kick, and the officials were booed and branded cheats by Burnley’s fans throughout the game.

Dyche didn’t go as far as calling them cheats, but he admitted it was “impossible” that his team weren’t awarded two spot kicks and didn’t win the game.

“Had we come away with nothing today you’d struggle to believe what was going on. The first decision baffles me,” Dyche told the BBC’s Match of the Day. “I am outspoken when people go down too easy. Ashley Barnes had no other choice as the keeper takes the legs away and yet Ashley comes away with a booking.

“But we just kept knocking at the door. We were relentless in our attitude again and that is coming back into our play at speed. The least we deserved was a point. I can’t be any more clear in my idea. That first one was just a plain, simple penalty. I will be amazed if strikers in the studio say it wasn’t a penalty.”

Barnes backed up Dyche’s comments by adding that they “should have won” the game, but there was a hint of luck about their last-gasp penalty kick. Jack Stephens handled the ball as the cross came in, but Peter Crouch was all over him and Crouch did head the ball on to Stephens’ arm from close range.

A draw was probably a fair result in this game, but Saints will no doubt feel that Taylor and his officiating crew were keen to even things up after missing a clear penalty kick in the first half.

Burnley deny Saints amid late penalty drama (video)

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  • Barnes equalizes in 94th minute
  • Redmond put Southampton ahead
  • Burnley six games unbeaten
  • Saints five games unbeaten

Burnley scored a 94th-minute equalizer to make draw 1-1 against Southampton at Turf Moor on Saturday.

Referee Anthony Taylor waved away Ashley Barnes‘ penalty appeals in the first half and Nathan Redmond gave Saints a second half lead. But after Barnes hit the crossbar and Burnley piled on the pressure late in the game, Taylor awarded the Clarets a penalty kick deep into stoppage time.

The penalty kick was the first they’ve received in 68 games.

With the point Burnley and Saints both have 24 points, with Southampton in 16th and one place ahead of their relegation rivals on goal difference.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Southampton had plenty of the ball early on and pinned Burnley back, with Danny Ings set free but Tom Heaton saved brilliantly.

James Ward-Prowse whipped in a cross which Matt Targett couldn’t get on the end of, then Nathan Redmond almost found Callum Slattery moments later.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

Ashley Barnes then went close from a cross, as Southampton’s Jannik Vestergaard and Jan Bednarek blocked heroically. Ings then pulled up with an injury and was replaced by Shane Long and Chris Wood had a great chance to but Burnley ahead but after cutting inside he smashed well over.

A massive moment of controversy then arrived as Ashley Barnes was played in over the top and Alex McCarthy came rushing out. Southampton’s goalkeeper appeared to clip Barnes but nothing was given as Burnley’s striker was booked for his wild reaction to not getting a penalty kick.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

At the start of the second half Callum Slattery’s shot was deflected wide and from the resulting corner Phil Bardlsey hooked the ball off the line.

Heaton then denied Ward-Prowse’s header after Targett’s cross but he could do nothing to deny Redmond. The in-form winger surged towards Burnley’s defense, nutmegged Jack Cork and drilled home a low effort from distance to put Southampton ahead.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Deadline Day signing Peter Crouch was sent on for his Burnley debut late in the game and the home side launched plenty of long balls into the box, but McCarthy saved very well from Barnes.

Barnes then went even closer to scoring as he smashed a volley towards goal but it hit the crossbar and flew over.

But Barnes was to have the last laugh as a cross into the box in the 94th-minute saw Jack Stephens handle under pressure from Crouch and Barnes scored the penalty kick to snatch a point.

VAR works well, but is it what we want?

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Video Assistant Referees (VAR) are coming to the Premier League for the 2019-20 campaign as the system is finally being adopted by England’s top-flight.

But is VAR what we really want? The jury remains out. Big time.

VAR has been used in Major League Soccer for years, rolled out across Europe’s other top leagues over the past few seasons and was a revelation at the 2018 World Cup.

But, and there is always a but with VAR, its arrival is getting us all to ask a huge internal question about the beautiful game: is this what we really want? Should every minute detail be scrutinized a la the NFL? Is this the direction we want to head in?

Whether we like it or not, that is the direction we are heading in. The system is being used in the FA Cup and League Cup in England this season, and in the knockout round of the UEFA Champions League for the first time. It is something we are going to hear a lot more about in the coming weeks and months.

Like any change in system there are positives and negatives.

Positive: I attended the Southampton versus Derby County FA Cup third round replay on Wednesday. Derby had one goal which looked perfectly fine ruled out via VAR, and one goal stood which looked offside. Both calls were correct when the replays were shown and there was tension in the stadium as the referee waited to announce the decision. It was all rather smooth and, most importantly, the correct decisions were made.

Negative: The fact that Derby were denied a wonderful team goal due to the heel of their striker being offside seems totally against the spirit of the game, and so to does Jack Stephens‘ right heel playing four players onside for Derby’s first goal. When you zoom in and slow down the footage, you can see that the decisions are technically correct. But there is an argument to be made that VAR is taking things too far.

Chants of “VAR, VAR” were heard by both sets of fans as youngsters made the square hand gesture as they called for VAR to be used time and time again. It is fun now, because it is new, but in a few years time we may all look down in the pub as we swill the remnants of a pint and say something along the lines of: “I miss the old days before VAR.”

Referees and linesman will probably miss it too, because their role in the game will still be important but their responsibility is diminished.

The debates will continue about certain decisions with or without VAR. Take the Harry Kane penalty kick against Chelsea in the League Cup for example. Was that incident a “clear and obvious” error? That is what VAR is supposed to be used for and that is where the gray area still exists.

When VAR was used at St Mary’s a message was displayed on the big screens saying a goal was being checked, or a possible penalty decision was being looked at. It all worked quite well and certainly added drama to proceedings. Could replays be shown live on the big screens at stadiums in Premier League grounds to offer greater transparency to fans and players? Or would that cause riots if the VAR images were still inconclusive? It is a tricky tightrope to walk.

VAR will get the vast majority of decisions correct, but how often it is used and how heavily referees rely on it will determine if the system is going to be successful long-term.

We are about to find out if VAR is here to stay and if it is what we really want.

Right now, there is no going back.