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Published: 18:12 | 13/1/18

Pellegrino calls for VAR after handball controversy

Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino has called for Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to be introduced to the Premier League after a controversial last-minute equaliser denied his team the points at Watford.

Hornets striker Abdoulaye Doucoure used his right arm to deflect a Troy Deeney header past Alex McCarthy to earn a 2-2 draw at Vicarage Road.

Southampton were on course to gain their first win in ten league games and the decision allow a goal by referee Roger East cost them not just two points but also two places in the table, with the South Coast club poised to go 14th with a win.

VAR was introduced for the first time in England last week for the FA Cup third round tie involving Brighton and Crystal Palace, but the Premier League is yet to accept the technology.

Speaking to BBC Match of the Day, Pellegrino felt an "Injustice" had been served and his team should have won.

The Argentinian said: :"Football is like this sometimes, small details change everything. We are very sad but we have to accept the rules. 

"It's part of football. Even in the second half they were playing more direct, I don't remember many clear chances, just second balls.

"I am sad. I never see this type of mistake in the Premier League before. 

"To live this injustice is really hard. I think we have to try [VAR] and analyse if it's possible to help the sport to make better decisions, even for the referee.

"The last four games the team is growing. Playing in this way it’s easy for everybody because I’m sure we’ll win games."

Watford sub Troy Deeney had an assist in both Hornets goals and admits that the goal probably would not have stood if VAR had been available to the officials.

He told Sky Sports: "You know what, when you are on the other side of it you will be gutted. But when you get [the decision] you are buzzing.

"If VAR comes in we probably don't get that, but today we got it and it is the luck of the draw. Today we were on the right side of it."

Leicester face Fleetwood Town in the FA Cup at King Power Stadium on Tuesday, 16 January, live on BT Sport 2 [kick off 7.45pm].

Image: Getty Images/Christopher Lee

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