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#PLStories- Ralph Hasenhuttl asked Leicester to give Southampton free equaliser after ‘unacceptable’ goal #SAINTSFC #LEIFC

Ralph Hasenhuttl

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl asked Leicester City to let his side walk the ball into the net to equalise following a controversial opening goal at the King Power Stadium. Hasenhuttl said in his post-match press conference that he had hoped City would let Adam Armstrong walk the ball into the net to level up the game. That did not happen.

Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “We all saw what happened. My view is when you have the ball and the referee stops the game, you have the ball back, but today it was different. We have to accept it but it was hard to understand. When you kick it long and go for the header or the second ball, for me, this is not giving the ball back. Giving the ball back is when we have the ball and you wait until we have the ball and then you start attacking us, and that’s okay. I don’t know why Vardy pressed. He said he didn’t know he couldn’t. Then Lyanco went for the header and you think it’s a normal game, but it’s not. We had the ball in our half, and then they got the ball in their half and can kick it towards our goal and immediately attack. We always speak about respect and fair play but when you act like this, for me it’s not acceptable. The offer I made to let us score a goal after the kick-off wasn’t taken. They pressed us immediately again, so the situation was gone and the game was different. The first goal was the decisive moment in this game. If you concede it in this way, it’s hard for me to take. It was an offer from my side, to let us run with the ball and score a goal, keep on going to make it 1-1. But they didn’t do it. That would be a sign for me, or a message to everybody. We tried. Adam ran with the ball and tried to attack and he was looking to see if someone would tackle him, but they did.”

Hasenhuttl was frustrated the decision overshadowed the game, which he still felt City deserved to win.

Ralph Hasenhuttl added: “Normally he (Moss) should give it back to us and then we would have the ball, where we have been and everything is easy. Then we can speak about fantastic Leicester who might still have scored three goals and congratulate them for this win because they have been the better team and everything would have be okay. It’s hard to take to be honest. It was a tricky situation, but very unnecessary. We saw a very intense, good football game, but now we’re discussing a situation that shouldn’t have happened. I don’t want that. I don’t want to be a bad loser. We conceded four goals and we deserved to lose and they were the better team. But such a situation changed everything and this is the frustrating thing for me.”

From Brendan Rodgers’ point of view, he established with referee Moss that it was a fair goal, and so felt his team should just play on, with no chance of giving a goal back to Southampton. But he did admit there was confusion over the initial incident.

Brendan Rodgers said: “I think there was a lack of clarity of what actually happened. Was it a bounce ball or a free kick for us, or whatever? I was watching it as it developed and I asked the fourth official. The ball was played back to Kasper (Schmeichel) and he played it forward. I think if their centre-half didn’t make a mistake, there’s no drama. He’d have headed it back and Southampton would have had the ball. But he makes a mistake and Vards finished it. So then I was thinking, if there was any issue with, Jon would have blown up. But pretty soon after the goal went in, he pointed to the centre spot, so it was a goal. Clearly Southampton’s players were unhappy, but he (Moss) was clear with the players on the field and so was the fourth official. It was a goal. It was frustrating for Ralph and the players. They’re probably disappointed they didn’t defend it better on the back of a mistake as well. All we can do is play to the whistle. I was speaking to the fourth official and I called some of the players over to ask what Jon Moss was saying and he said it was a goal and it was a fair goal. I thought there was a bit of confusion. But we scored a goal and went on and scored another three goals.”

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