Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure scores equaliser against Southampton with hand

Watford 2 Southampton 2: Controversial late equaliser denies Saints away victory

Watford 2 Southampton 2: Controversial late equaliser denies Saints away victory

Watford came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw with Southampton in the Premier League but the visitors felt they had been robbed of the victory by what they saw as a clear late handball goal from Abdoulaye Doucoure. The Frenchman had stooped to meet Troy Deeney's headed pass but appeared to use his hand to divert the ball past Southampton goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.

Yet how referee Roger East and linesman Derek Eaton missed Doucoure's sucker punch was a mystery.

However, it is still some way off from appearing in the league. "[If] VAR comes in we probably wouldn't get that but today we got it". Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino was dismayed by what he felt was an "injustice".

"For sure [we should have won] but football is like this sometimes, small details change everything", he told BBC Sport.

"When you are winning 2-0, you expect your opponent to play very direct and it's something that's hard to defend because maybe they are a little bit better than us in this aspect".

"Everybody makes mistakes but the problem is at this level, you have a lot to play for so we are disappointed".


Video assistant referees are being trialled in domestic cup competitions over the next few months, beginning with the FA Cup third-round tie between Brighton & Hove Albion and Crystal Palace earlier this week, but a frustrated Pellegrino now wants to see it rolled out in the English top flight. "I imagine the referee is not happy now.".

And, predictably perhaps, out of six of the 15:00 GMT kick-offs in the Premier League on Saturday, two games contained controversial incidents affecting relegation-threatened sides.

The draw - and a win for West Brom - left Swansea still at the foot of the Premier League table, four points behind 17th-placed Bournemouth.

"My assistant says it's a very clear penalty and a red card also, so it's another decision that creates something important but what can we do?"

"This is one of the situations VAR will in the future say clear penalty".

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