Watford manager slams decision that could cost Leeds United 'hundreds of millions'

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Southampton’s controversial late winner saw them gain ground on Leeds United, Ipswich Town and Leicester City.

Watford manager Tom Cleverley was fuming to see his side concede in the 99th-minute against Southampton on Saturday, despite seeing seven minutes of extra-time added.

Southampton gained yet more ground on their automatic promotion rivals over the weekend, beating Watford 3-2 after seeing all of Leicester City, Leeds United and Ipswich Town drop points. Russell Martin’s side threw away a two-goal lead at St. Mary’s but won it in dramatic fashion through Flynn Downes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

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

"That (late goal) is the biggest source of my frustration,” Cleverley admitted. “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."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Victory 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.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.