Southampton manager Mark Hughes was furious about the way in which he felt the referee had contributed to Everton's late equaliser in Saturday's Premier League clash at Goodison Park.
Saints goalscorer Nathan Redmond was harshly adjudged to have committed a foul in the dying moments of added time. From the resulting attack, Tom Davies levelled with a deflected strike, thus denying the Saints a vital win in their bid to avoid relegation.
Speaking after the game, and quoted on the Southampton website, Hughes gave a detailed breakdown of what he perceived as the referee's costly errors:
"We clipped a great ball into the corner for Nathan to chase down," said Hughes, adding: "He’s done better than anybody could’ve expected to win the ball and the assistant referee hasn’t flagged."
Hughes also expressed his bewilderment as to why the referee had overruled the assistant referee: "We should be allowed to carry on. Lo and behold Jon Moss, who is 30 yards behind play, decides to give a free kick when he clearly can’t see what we see."
Hughes added: "He then compounds the problem by allowing them to play the ball ten or 15 yards away from where it should be."
The Saints boss did admit that his full back Ryan Bertrand made a significant error by clearing straight to an Everton player in the lead-up to the goal:
"With hindsight, Ryan [Bertrand] knows he should allow the ball to go out and we can defend the throw-in with ten or 15 seconds left in the game," said Hughes.
Nevertheless, he was in no mood to be generous in his assessment of Everton's display, as he stated bluntly: "They’ve got very, very lucky today. Clearly they didn’t deserve anything out of it, but that’s football."
Hughes' side will have to regroup quickly and put their disappointment behind them, as they face Swansea at the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday in a critical relegation battle.
Thanks to the point they earned at Goodison Park, the Saints leapfrogged the Swans and plunged them into the relegation zone. However, they are only ahead of the Welsh side on goal difference.