By Keith Hackett

4th Oct, 2021 | 8:30pm

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?”

In other news, injury expert predicts Reece James may be out until January after Chelsea latest.