Watford 2 Southampton 2: Controversial late equaliser denies Saints away victory

Abdoulaye Doucoure is not a cheat- his handball for Watford's equaliser was instinctive

Jan 13 (Reuters) - Watford came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw with Southampton in the Premier League but the visitors felt they had been robbed of the victory by what they saw as a clear late handball goal from Abdoulaye Doucoure.

VAR had been given a quiet debut in an FA Cup tie at Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday and a League Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Arsenal on Wednesday but it still resulted in much debate about how effective the trial had been.

The Southampton players ended up surrounding the referee after Doucoure's 90th minute leveller, which was the 1000th league goal that the Saints had conceded in the Premier League era. To live [with] this injustice is really hard.

"We are very sad but we have to accept the rules".

The simple fact is it should have been spotted by referee Roger East and his assistants
The simple fact is it should have been spotted by referee Roger East and his assistants

At St James' Park, with the game goalless, the home side's Mohamed Diame appeared to handle the ball after Swansea's Mike van der Hoorn had flicked it towards goal. "Nothing, only talk about this", said Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal. "It's clear (handball). I imagine the referee is not happy now".

Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino has called for the introduction of VAR in the Premier League following the "injustice" of his side's 2-2 draw with Watford.

"Obviously we are conscious of this situation but I have got a good feeling because I have got good players". The infringement was blatant when replayed at a certain angle, but it was missed by most people in the stadium at the time, including the officials.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson was satisfied with how officials handled Glenn Murray's late victor as Brighton progressed to the fourth round of the FA Cup in what was the first competitive game in England to have the technology available.

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