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Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl insists penalty decision was correct

Saints full-back Kyle Walker-Peters was adjudged to have been brought down by Brighton’s Solly March inside the box by VAR.

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Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and Danny Ings (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and Danny Ings (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl and Danny Ings (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Ralph Hasenhuttl insisted that the foul leading to Danny Ings’ decisive and controversial penalty was inside the area as Southampton came from behind to secure a 2-1 win at Brighton.

The 2,000 Seagulls fans in attendance witnessed Saints fight back from a goal down to secure all three points in a Premier League game which included two penalties.

Pascal Gross fired Brighton into the lead from the spot after the ball hit James Ward-Prowse’s arm in the area, before Jannik Vestergaard headed in the equaliser.

Then, with 10 minutes remaining, substitute Ings fired home on his return from injury after Southampton were awarded a controversial spot-kick.

Kyle Walker-Peters was brought down by Solly March and referee David Coote initially awarded a free-kick outside the area.

A lengthy VAR review eventually overruled the on-field decision and a penalty was given, and the Southampton manager feels it was correct.

“The longer it (the VAR review) took, the more I was convinced that it was inside the box because otherwise they wouldn’t have looked so long,” Hasenhuttl said.

“But it was the right decision I think because it was clear inside the box and this is what we have VAR for and I can absolutely understand and I’m very happy.

“This situation is very tough to see for a referee but with VAR it is easy to see because they have the review all the time, it’s not about if it was a foul or not, it was a foul and then you have to decide if it’s inside or not and I think it was clear inside.

“It was important that (Ings) scores in that moment and it’s important to have subs like him and Reddy (Nathan Redmond) in that moment because that gives us definitely more opportunities.

“And in such a tight game, if you want to turn the table, you need quality from the bench and today I think it was the winning part that we can bring players on like these two.”

Brighton boss Graham Potter admitted he had to accept the decision and the process.

“It felt like longer than two minutes (for the VAR review) but I haven’t seen it back closely,” he said.

“I think the general feeling was that it was going to be given outside the box but if VAR have deemed that it’s inside, I suppose we have to accept that.

“That’s what they’re there for in terms of making sure factually inside or outside the box and, if they deem it inside, then we have to accept it.

“Apparently they don’t look if it’s a factual one, when I spoke to the referee, so in terms of inside or outside the box there’s nothing for him to look at, that’s when VAR intervenes, if it’s a contact then maybe you can look at it.”

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