Hasenhuettl blames VAR after Wolves hand Saints 2-1 defeat

Saints players were upset when the ball appeared to strike Wolves defender Leander Dendoncker's upper arm but the referee and VAR denied the home side a penalty.

Ralph Hasenhuettl suggested teams should be awarded free kicks instead of penalties in such situations referring to events in Southampton's loss to Wolves.   -  Getty Images

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl took issue with what he perceived to be double standards from the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) in two decisions during their 2-1 home loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League on Sunday.

Wolves equalised with a penalty after Ryan Bertrand had attempted to tuck his arm in as Nelson Semedo took a shot which struck the Southampton fullback and was given as handball, allowing Ruben Neves to score from the spot.

Minutes later, Saints players were upset when the ball appeared to strike Wolves defender Leander Dendoncker's upper arm but the referee and VAR denied the home side a penalty.

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"I'm normally a big fan and if VAR followed the rules it would be easy. I don't know what (VAR) Martin Atkinson saw today but they're not doing a good job at the moment. Then, it does destroy the game," Hasenhuettl told reporters.

"We hope we have more luck with the VAR in future. The referee (Graham Scott) explained that Ryan's arm was stretched away from the body but it was the shot which took the arm away.

"If it's the rule then he has to explain to me why the one in the other box wasn't a penalty. The VAR can but I couldn't speak to VAR. It's the issue we have as games are not being decided in the stadium but in (VAR hub) Stockley Park."

Hasenhuettl suggested teams should be awarded free kicks instead of penalties in such situations.

"I don't think either are penalties but if you give the first one you have to give the second," he added.

"I don't know what the VAR saw in this situation. It's hard to understand but we have to accept it.

"I will always speak about why a free-kick isn't given in these situations for handball. That way it doesn't make it so harsh and so decisive in this game."

Pedro Neto scored the winner in the 66th minute after Danny Ings had given the hosts a halftime lead. Saints dropped to 13th place after the loss, a point below Wolves with a game in hand.

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