Hackett slams 'lazy refereeing' after analysing Chelsea v Southampton footage
Martin Atkinson should not have needed VAR to intervene to rule out Timo Werner’s header for Chelsea against Southampton on Saturday.
So says ex-Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over the Saints on 2 October.
Werner thought he had doubled the home side’s 1-0 advantage on the stroke of half-time, but the goal was ruled out for a foul in the build-up.
Cesar Azpilicueta was adjudged to have kicked Kyle Walker-Peters heel, a full 18 seconds before Werner’s header hit the back of the net.
Blues boss Thomas Tuchel was subsequently incensed and received a yellow card for his boisterous protests.
But the incident could have been avoided entirely had Atkinson blown up for what was a “clear foul”, claims Hackett.
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“It was certainly a foul,” he told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitely.
“But I think the debate that one has is, how far do we go back? But I think this was a credible action by VAR to come in.
“If you look at the replay, it was a clear foul and it did impact the outcome. It was missed by the referee.
“I don’t think Martin Atkinson had a particularly good game, even though he has been one of the cornerstones of officials for a number of years.
“For the last few years, he has done remarkably well. I just think yesterday he lacked a bit of confidence.
“Normally, he would have spotted that and penalised it. You have to ask, was this lazy refereeing?”