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Southampton’s Hughes blasts referee over VAR as Chelsea claims FA Cup win


Chelsea’s Brazilian midfielder Willian (2L) vies with Southampton’s Danish midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (2R) during the English FA Cup semi-final football match between Chelsea and Southampton at Wembley Stadium in London, on April 22, 2018. Glyn KIRK / AFP

Mark Hughes was furious with officials for failing to use VAR in Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Southampton in the FA Cup semi-finals.Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata netted for the Blues but there were two key decisions the Saints boss felt should have been reviewed.

Firstly, Hughes felt his team should have been awarded a penalty when a Southampton corner was whipped in and deflected off Giroud’s arm.The second instance arrived just a few minutes later when Chelsea goalkeeper, Willy Caballero collected a high ball but then fumbled it into his own net.

However, referee Martin Atkinson harshly penalised Charlie Austin for a foul on Caballero thus denying the Saints an equaliser.Hughes is baffled as to why the VAR system was overlooked and feels his side were hard done by as a result.“The keeper Willy Caballero made a glaring mistake, he dropped it down his chest I’d have thought that was a clear situation that needed to be reviewed,” he told BT Sport.

“I don’t know how they made that decision so quickly, Charlie Austin did nothing wrong.“And there was a hand ball from the corner by Olivier Giroud, so we feel hard done by.

“Conceding first goal was always going to be detrimental We took a centre-back off and they were able to capitalise with a second goal.“We have a huge game next weekend and the focus now is putting this disappointment behind us very very quickly.”

Hughes also admits Southampton did not pressure Chelsea enough in the opening 45 minutes and was disappointed to go a goal down straight after the re-start.”In the first half we didn’t quite affect Chelsea as much as we talked about before the game so we were reasonably pleased to come in at half-time with it 0-0,” he added.“Coming out and conceding early…the response was very good, obviously we’re disappointed by the nature of it, after 30 seconds or so.“We got a response but we didn’t get any luck.”

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