By Keith Hackett

22nd Nov, 2021 | 6:11pm

Ex-Fifa referee swipes at four Southampton stars after analysing controversial footage

There is a case for Norwich City’s opening goal in their 2-1 win over Southampton to be chalked off for a foul in the build-up but poor defending is more to blame.

So says ex-Fifa and Premier League referee Keith Hackett, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about Milot Rashica’s challenge on Kyle Walker-Peters that helped launch Norwich’s counterattack.

Rashica brought Walker-Peters down as the ball broke to Max Aarons who eventually provided the assist for Teemu Pukki’s goal.

As quoted by Hampshire Live after the game, Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl insisted the challenge was a “clear” foul.

Grant Hanley scored Norwich’s second goal as Dean Smith’s reign got off to a winning start.

“There was a foul missed, there’s no question about that,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

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“In a sense, he’s got a point. But, in my opinion, this did not impact on whether a goal was scored or not. He just needs to spend a bit more time with defenders.

“This is football. Ultimately, at the end of the day, don’t blame the referee interrogate your defenders.

“They would have lost credibility if VAR went right back to that offence, in my opinion.

“It may well have been a foul that Martin Atkinson played advantage for. He’s not overly demonstrative with his signals. It may well be that he applied an advantage.”

The defeat leaves Southampton just five points clear of the relegation zone.

Norwich are off the bottom of the table after their second win of the season and are now just three points off safety.

In other news, Dean Smith is plotting to sign a Premier League striker in January as his Norwich City tactical plan is revealed.