Chris Hughton has slammed referee Stuart Attwell after missing a 'blatant' penalty during Brighton's 3-1 defeat to Burnley at the Amex Stadium.
Brighton had a number of chances early on, however were denied by an in-form Tom Heaton on numerous occasions. After all their early pressure, it was the visitors who went ahead as Chris Wood capitalised on a Lewis Dunk slip and slotted the ball past Matt Ryan to put Burnley ahead.
Brighton responded well to going behind and began the second half the better of the two teams, but they soon found themselves two goals behind. Dwight McNeil drove at the Brighton defence and slipped Wood in on goal, who then tucked the ball into the bottom corner to make it 2-0 to the visitors.
There then came a moment of controversy as the Brighton players begged referee Attwell for a penalty after it looked like Jeff Hendrick handled the ball in the area, but he wasn't interested and instead Burnley went up the other end and won a spot kick of their own after Barnes was brought down by Ryan. Barnes stepped up and duly dispatched the spot kick to make it 3-0.
Brighton got a goal back just minutes later through Shane Duffy, however it proved to be just a consolation goal as Burnley ran out comfortable 3-1 winners. Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Hughton insisted that whilst the Premier League still hasn't yet incorporated VAR, he felt the decision didn't even need review given how blatant he felt it was.
He said: "We needed momentum and probably the disappointment - at 2-0 - we have what is a blatant penalty which is not given. And they go up the other end and score. Probably, that was our day today. The moments we needed to show quality we perhaps didn't.
"[It was] a decision that shouldn't need VAR. We have a referee that's probably 10 yards away and a linesman that's supposed to help him out in those situations if he hasn't seen it. It wasn't, for me, a difficult one to see. VAR or no VAR, it's one that a referee should have seen.
"If we were to have that penalty, which we should have done, we score it, it's 2-1, we're back in the game, momentum shifts in our favour."
The loss means Brighton are now just three points off the relegation zone in 14th place, and they'll certainly be hoping to get back to winning ways when they host Derby in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon.