Ralph Hassenhuttl questions referee Jon Moss ‘bravery’ after Southampton denied penalty in Man City draw

Ralph Hassenhuttl has questioned the ‘bravery’ of Jon Moss after the referee rescinded his original decision to award Southampton a penalty during Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Manchester City.

The Southampton boss would have been delighted with his side’s performance, whose disciplined defence restricted City’s plethora of attacking talents to only one shot on target over the 90 minutes, a testament to the manager’s effective tactics.

The visitors were awarded a penalty in the second half when Kyle Walker appeared to foul Adam Armstrong, the City defender then being handed a red card.

VAR rules dictate that the official in Stockley Park should not call upon referees to change an on-pitch decision unless it is a “clear and obvious error”.

Hassenhuttl questioned this rule, insisting Moss should have been forced to stick with his earlier call.

“We had the feeling it was not a clear wrong decision, but when the referee thinks it is a clear wrong decision, he has to overrule it. He did it. It is a pity for us, but we have to accept it,” he said.

“If we want to win here, we have to have a perfect game and a perfect day. I think tactically, we had a nearly perfect one, but we needed a bit of luck to get such a penalty, and this was not there.”

“For me, it wasn’t a clear wrong decision, but I think he was not brave enough,” Hasenhuttl told Southampton’s in-house media.

Pep Guardiola, who came under fire from City supporters for comments made in midweek, has admitted that his side was not up to standard.

“We were not good in our build-up. We lost simple balls in our process because we were not clever and a little bit sloppy,” Guardiola said.

“That is why I have to compliment Southampton. We move forward.”