Champion League

Watford manager slams decision that could cost Leeds hundreds of millions

Watford manager Tom Cleverley was left furious after his side conceded a 99th minute winner against Southamton. 

The Saints lost a 2 goal lead but ended up winning late in stoppage time. However, Watford felt robbed due to a couple of controversial decisions including the game being allowed to play 2 minutes more than the 7 minutes time initially added.

Downes appeared to handle the ball before poking home the winner, two minutes after the minimum seven minutes added-time had been played.

Cleverley also claimed that a red card should also have been awarded to Sekou Mara for a clash with Ryan Porteous, but the Hornets boss was most concerned by the late winner.

He believed that the poor officiating is unfair to those fighting for the direct promotion, as it could cost them potential millions.

Cleverley said (quotes via YEP):

“That (late goal) is the biggest source of my frustration. The red card incident on Ryan Porteous was a genuine mistake. The fact that the corner gets delivered in the 98th minute after seven were added on is a worry.”

“It’s not affected the way our campaign ends so much. But when there are hundreds of millions of pounds on the line for Leeds, Ipswich and Leicester, I think they could argue that the top referees should be in charge of these games.”

“I will never, ever have a go for genuine mistakes. I’m disappointed the corner was taken. I am struggling to see how we’ve led to that after the 98th minute. The whole thing should never happen and I think this is where you need someone strong for sure in the game.”

The win has pulled Southampton to within six points of Leeds, and victory in both of their games in hand would see them pull level.

Martin’s side can actually close the gap this week with two fixtures against Preston and Cardiff City coming before the Whites go to Middlesbrough on Monday evening.

Daniel Farke’s side are a point off Leicester in second, having played a game more, while Ipswich’s 0-0 draw at home to ‘Boro saw them pull two clear of Leeds at the top of the table with three games remaining.

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