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Manchester United 9 v 0 Southampton
Barclays Premier League
Tuesday, 2nd February 2021 Kick-off 20:15
Southampton At Manchester United The Verdict
Tuesday, 2nd Feb 2021 22:46

Lets be blunt we have been there before and come back and prospered, but tonight we were beaten by another inept refereeing performance combined with VAR yet again.

I am not going to make any excuses here, the fact that Alexandre Jankewitz was sent off after only 75 seconds was the biggest factor in this defeat and why the hell he was making a challenge like that in the first minute God only knows.

But let's be honest we would have lost this game if we had the full 11, we were just too ravaged by injury to be able to compete with a United side who were in free flow.

Too many players did not stand up and be counted and Ralph won't be happy with that.

In the first half the sending off knocked us out of our stride and we were forced to reshuffle, United tore us apart on our left, exposing Kayne Ramsey who was getting no cover from Moussa Djenepo who too often went missing and seemed unaware of his position.

No excuses for the first half United took us apart when we were vulnerable.

Second half we found our shape and seemed able to be able to deal with a United side who had made changes .

But we were not helped by VAR several key decisions went against us, Che Adams saw a goal that could not have had more than millimetres in it, with the camera not being level it was impossible to give a accurate decision and from this perspective it was not a clear and obvious error and that is what VAR is meant to be there for, not to debate millimetres where no truly accurate result can be achieved, but to rule out the clear and obvious.

On 69 minutes it changed when Martial hammered the ball home, it was a carbon copy of the goal conceded against Leicester a few weeks ago, the United player hammering home from an acute angle as Alex McCarthy dropped to one knee.

A minute later it was 6 with a long range effort going in.

But 10 man Saints dug in again and seemed to have made sure it was a rout but not another slaughter, but then came VAR again.

Martial went to go past Bednarek who pulled out of the tackle, Martial was already diving when any contact could have been made, VAR could not decide it was again inconclusive and not clear and obvious , indeed you could clearly see that there was no contact between them.

VAR could not decide so over went Mike Dean to look at the screen this he did but as he was watching the replay the screen froze, for around a minute he looked at the frozen screen and then spoke in his earpiece, he then went back gave the penalty and sent off Bednarek.

The Polish defender had clearly pulled out of the challenge, Martial clearly dived and Bednarek went down the tunnel and was shown after saying to the camera that Martial had admitted it was not a foul.

Ultimately Mike Dean could have made the decision, after his display in the VAR role when we played Villa, I have to say I think Dean is at best inept and at worse a genuine cheat, I stop short of accusing him of that, but for perhaps the first time in my life I can honestly say that I feel a referee is not acting in an honest way.

With 3 minutes to go the penalty was converted and we were in trouble , down to 10 men and we were clearly now disorientated and raging about the incidents.

Ironically Mike Dean only gave 3 minutes of injury time, I wasn't complaining, but given that we had spent over 4 minutes on the penalty VAR incident, at least 2 minutes on the Adams offside, several injuries and 3 substitutions it was another case of Mike Dean getting something drastically wrong again, perhaps he felt sorry for us and realised his mistakes have cost us and cut things short before he got things wrong again.

Two more goals followed the last being the last kick of the game.

No one is complaining about the result, that was down to us and the actions of Jankewitz, but the refereeing and VAR decisions were appalling and the sending off at Bednarek is a real problem for us when we go to Newcastle unless the red card is overturned.

Lets get this right though we lost this due to our performance, not because of Gao, not because of a lack of players coming in during the transfer window, not because we let fringe players out on loan, but what happened on this night alone.

Rant & rave about the defeat, but do so on the game itself and the performance on the night.

The good news is that few sides can have so many key players out as we have at the moment, when they are back we can start to compete again.

Ralph Hasenhuttl was shell shocked after the game, but In Ralph We Trust, he will get it right and we march on.

Photo: Action Images

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ElijahK added 22:49 - Feb 2
It’s just annoying watching us at the moment, I mean I just feel for Ralph as he’s doing the best he can as he always picks a starting lineup that we all pretty much agree with and is doing decent tactics, but we’ve had a lot of injuries which just shows of how we’ve got such a shit owner and board as our squad depth is just ridiculously thin! And yet we’ve done nothing about it!

I mean we simply lost that game down to that and that certain players just being purely rubbish! I mean in the end Bertrand has been poor recently and the likes of Djenpo is WORSE! Than Boufal! And for that Swedish youth player, well sheesh he wanted to play as he wondered why he never did... well there’s his answer! But we just couldn’t cope with it!

VAR and mike dean though, I just can’t even be asked to talk about anymore!

One positive is simply that Ramsay was actually decent enough!

Btw who the hell was commentating in that game as one of them was a complete idiot who was blatantly a Man U fan going on about where cavani’s foot was for the penalty, idiot!

saintmark1976 added 22:58 - Feb 2
Nick, I think that you would have been better served to have given yourself some time to reflect before writing your match report. In my opinion it bears no resemblance to what happened this evening and more importantly the underlying reasons for yet another humiliating 9-0 defeat.

AmericanSaint added 22:59 - Feb 2
Nick - I agree with everything you said especially about Mike Dean and the VAR incidents. The one that was a travesty to me is the JB card as if you watch the replay from behind (which Dean didnt) you can see Martial already diving. heck even Michael Owen tweeted it was a dive. Miek dean should not be allowed to ref or VAR any of our games until the end of the season and I would file a formal complaint against him. I have been a supporter of VAR until the last two games. You are right when you say it is supposed to be used to see if a there was clear error and not deal in millimeters and as the camera angle is never truly straight this makes that almost impossible.

I will disagree with you about Gao as his poor ownership and lack of willing to invest a small amount of money before the start of the season can attribute to what happened tonight. What I am most fearful of is that RH will see this game as how ownership will never produce any funds to help him build, unlike his last club. This will make him realize that there is no ambition at our club (which there isnt at the moment). I hope I am wrong but his name keeps getting spoken when a manager position opens up and how long will it take him to see the writing on the wall? Just one man's opinion.

IanRC added 23:00 - Feb 2
Is Mike Dean the most corrupt referee in the game. No complaints about the first red card but what followed was a string of decisions favouring the home side, culminating in the farcical sending off of a player who was trying to avoid fouling an opponent. This follows from his failure to send off Cash in the Villa game for a clear handball that prevented the ball travelling towards the goal and involved movement towards the ball. I despair.

Boris1977 added 23:04 - Feb 2
At least commentators won't keep going on about the Leicester game all the time now.

IanRC added 23:05 - Feb 2
And we better appeal the Bednarak red card, if for nothing else but to show up Dean and his sidekicks performance.

Saintsforeverj added 23:06 - Feb 2
I'm sorry but Long playing instead of Jankewitz tonight would have been better I'm sure. To send Vokins and Valery on loan when we have no spares is suicidal. Playing youngsters for the first time was disastrous and so it proved. VAR is terrible, terrible performance, we ha E injuries but two 9 nil defeats is totally unacceptable. I'm not sure it's all Ralph's fault.

A1079 added 23:12 - Feb 2
You say Nick in Ralph we trust but he does have to look at himself. I cannot think of another manager in the PL who has seen their team lose by that margin in 2 consecutive seasons and has survived. I am not saying I want him to go - I don't, not least because for the life of me I am not sure who would take us on, but oddly I would not be surprised if Ralph himself decided to leave. I do rate Ralph and I think with the right team and the right backing he could be a good manager. But one thing he does have to take responsibility for. How is it that losing one player has on 2 occasions resulted in a complete collapse? yes, we can feel cheated with the officials and VAR but that collapse is down to the manager and the players.

Lots of teams go down to 10 men, even 9 occasionally, but they usually know what to do. Close shop, stop play as much as possible, get tight, deny the opposition space - if for no other reason, but to keep the scoreline down. On both occasions we failed to do that.

You say you cannot blame Gao etc and of course you can't for what happens on a pitch. But, there is something more than just what happens on the pitch that permeates through the club and the team and Gao has brought a sense of a club that is almost winging it and just getting by. You cannot just blame Covid, though now, that is a ready made excuse, but these issues were there pre-Covid. Kat Liebherr said, I want to find someone who is going to take the club to the next platform. Well, in that case, Kat got it badly wrong. What interest does Gao show in the club or the team or football? Compare that with the Leicester owners who don't just invest but clearly love the game and have invested in the wider community.

But, at the end of the day I am just a fan, like the rest of us, but it us that have to endure these results and humiliation because that is what it is. Can you really see Ings staying now, not that I believe he was going to anyway?

Ok, emotion of losing like this again is raw and it is more than just this result. It is the whole stinking feeling that there are officials like Dean who clearly has an agenda. The whole VAR thing has almost become bigger than the football on the pitch. That is not the game I loved. You should win, lose, draw because of the football or a referee makes an honest decision whether or not that decision is right or wrong, but now we clearly have decisions being made which are clearly designed to achieve a certain outcome or aid a certain outcome and that needs to be looked into. Southampton FC should state that they do not wish to see Dean officiating one of our games. That may lead to an enquiry or a fine but we need to make a stand and not just take it, because a Liverpool or a Man U etc wouldn't take it, in fact the noise in the media would be deafening.

ElijahK added 23:15 - Feb 2
Look in the end we just need a new owner as previously I thought that Newcastle had a worse owner than us, but now it’s pretty clear that we have the worst one! Is fans really need to do something about this if we want to actually push to achieve things!

DorsetIan added 23:17 - Feb 2
I think the time for defending Gao, his chronic underinvestment and our fatally weakened squad, is well and truly over.

The facts on the pitch speak speak for themselves.


muggyp1 added 23:19 - Feb 2
Let's also remember Dean was the VAR who sent Bertrand off against Leicester. It was a foul, but Bertrand slipped due to horrendous conditions but no leeway given for that. Have to say letting players go out on loan when we down n to the bare bones is strange. Vikings certainly showed he could be more use here than in Sunderland!!

sandywelsh added 23:34 - Feb 2
Tonights result was because of a lack of players coming in during the transfer window.
When you start a game with 2 Goalkeepers on the bench you know your short of fit players.
Who said we didnt need any new Defenders in the transfer window. With this result it shows we do. What have we done wrong to get all these bad VAR decisions going against us.
Just hope we appeal Bednareks red card and it gets overturned.

WestSussexSaint added 23:35 - Feb 2
There is something mentally wrong with this team and when the chips are down they just fall apart.

No complaints about the first red. Jankewitz threw his toys out of the pram last week by not playing enough and that was how he repaid Ralph’s faith!. I expect it will be a long time before he gets another chance.

That set the tone and even though it was a makeshift side there was precious little fight and a lack of belief that they could put in a performance that they could take pride in.

Let’s be honest Saints we’re not good enough tonight and haven’t been for a few weeks. The injuries are clearly having an impact on the teams ability going forwards and that is putting massive pressure on the defence. But there are no leaders in this side that will help the young players when things are going wrong. The next signing has to look at the players character first regardless of the position they play. Can they lead a team and fight for every scrap.

The result tonight was not down to the referee. We would have lost regardless of who was in the middle. But how can that referee still be in a job. I hope the Bednarek red card is overturned (god knows we need some players available for the next match!) and that will prove how inept the referees performance was. VAR is a tool which I still think has a place in the game. The reason we have controversy every week is not the system but the people who operate it - yes the referees! It’s about time the FA took a close look at the referees union and took them to task as they are ruining the game that we love.

Saints will come back from this. Remember last time we had a cracking second half of the season. But right now it hurts!

Billeewithers added 23:47 - Feb 2
The fact that the var camera is not level calls into question any hairline decisions. An arm being offside is clearly ludicrous... a player pointing for a pass who is clearly onside but the arm is deemed offside should result in a goal if that is the case.
The penalty was a cop out by the referee ..... hope martial will raise himself to his true ability rather than dive and put his fellow professionals to the sword. He had also lost control of the ball ...... deliberately it would seem to give the dive more traction on the eye. Well beyond Dean’s careerist approach.
Raif and the players are delivering on a grand scale. I would not blame Raif for walking .... how much can a proud and honest man take?! Where to may stop him from doing so .... here’s hoping his world turns round lots.

The owners ...... notable for their absence.

derbydog added 23:52 - Feb 2
How will the club feel about Jankewitz’s transfer request now I wonder? By the time his 3 match ban has elapsed he won’t get near the squad anyway with players coming back from injury...

Number_58 added 00:22 - Feb 3
To be fair to Jankewitz he did at least go over to McTomony after the red card. Although that might have been to ask for his studs back.

SanMarco added 00:25 - Feb 3
A1079 expresses my fear - Ralph may use this as an opportunity to walk. Because this one wasn't down to him. I think sending Valerie out on loan was a bad mistake but Ramsay (given the fact he often had two or evn three top-class players against him) didn't play badly. That wasn't why we lost heavily.

The heavy defeat was due to an already much weakened team going down to 10 after 79 seconds. In those circumstances you need a lot of luck (we had none) and for all of the remaining 10 to play very well (some of them didn't) - but I don't think this was a Leicester style capitulation. I thought it showed up a lack of quality in one or two areas but the players kept battling and for the first 25 mins of the second half it looked like a 5 or maybe 6 nil at most, or even a goal for us. What turned it from a very bad night to a fiasco was Mr Mike Dean. If he books Martial for diving, or even gives the hand ball, then gets on with the game then we still lose heavily but not the symbolic and damning nine.ed

I don't agree that he is bias or corrupt - he is quite simply extraordinarily arrogant. He is the only ref I know who so clearly enjoys being the centre of attention. As he is walking to the monitor everything about says 'look at me'. I know that there are those that will throw their hands up at Nick pointing to the incompetence of the officials but that one decision led straight to the 9. Also the Adams goal would have meant we couln't lose 9-0. He was level, just like Ings was on Saturday - and level means you are onside.

Finally Gao. I will admit to not really knowing all the facts on this. I, simply on ethical grounds, would prefer not to be owned by Chinese or Russian or an oil-country dictatorship's money. The guy hasn't really invested so why doesn't he just sell? Two 9-0s in a season and a half can hardly be giving him much kudos in a country where they value pride and dignity.


DellBoyWally added 00:37 - Feb 3
No doubt Dean, who had his hand on the red card even b4 kick off, must have chuckled. His "sending off" bonus on a plate; he must have been dreaming of a double bonus all game. Which duly arrived courtesy of a flying Martian. Sorry Martial. As he jogged over to the pitch-side monitor he was calculating his winnings for 4 days "extras" wondering why he had to walk all that way with no chance he'll change his decision.
And to be fair to Jack Stephens, out of all the goals he only had 2 assists! The fact he failed to cut out 4 others doesn't deserve a mention.
I'd have taken 6 - 2 after the sending off. And it could/should have been. No way VAR could rule Adams' off side. Lee Mason returning the favour for Mike Dean's help at the weekend.
Fill your wallets guys!
Adams missed a sitter! 2 goals there.
No penalty
McCarthy kneeling at the near post
Stephens' blind kick whilst lying on the ground then meandering out so that Beep de Boop, or whatever his name is, was played onside to stick his foot out in McCarthy's line of sight.
3 goals saved there.
What would have been fun would be 2 goal-keepers coming on to replace outfielders!!
So Ralph please, please stay but understand if your pride can't take any more.
And Goa, I understand your philosophy of having a self-sustaining club/business but there comes a time.......! At the moment SFC is certainly not that. The frightening interest on the survival loan is going to cripple the club and business without some internal measures.
You either watch your investment crumble or you sell at a loss to a serious investor. Either way you lose. One way leads to oblivion for the club. The other leads to hope for the supporters. Do something honourable before you go.

Ripleys_revenge added 01:16 - Feb 3
Generally a fair assessment, apart from the stuff about Gao. Ultimately if there is no investment then the squad suffers. A poor squad = getting spanked every now and again when more than one or two injuries mount up. I'm not sure how it could be any clearer?

All the VAR / Mike Dean stuff is truly shocking, atrocious, amateur, laughable etc etc but that's a distraction from the biggest issue which is we are stuck with Gao now for the forseeable future. He has done nothing for the club - I don't buy this 'getting money out of China' as an excuse. People with that much money are quite capable of moving as much or as little money around the world as they want. If there was a desire to invest in the club, he would have made it happen.

The fact is we are screwed. No one is going to buy the club any time soon due to covid. Gao is stsuck with an asset he can't shift. He's surely even less likely than ever to put money in now.

Come on, I think everyone knows it is as simple as: money = good players. no money = absence of good players. Gao carries the can

HythePeer added 02:04 - Feb 3
I said that it would happen again at the time and I got a lot of pooh pooh from this site and its contributors. I never thought I could be that right🤦🏻‍♂️

wemarch added 03:35 - Feb 3
Mike Dean and Lee Mason are Both dishonest and Both cheat. END OFF!!! Must file complain and overturn those stuipd decisions!

Billeewithers added 03:35 - Feb 3
As SanMarco has pointed out the players are level. picking the width of a shirt is irrelevant .... the rule says level ..... not exactly to the mm but just plain level. In both instances they were level.
So 2-1 up against Villa and 1-4 down against Mu.
Martial dives. ....he was falling before any contact and dragged his leg onto his opponents far leg which was going away behind him .... such a clear dive. Funny but the ref cannot claim crowd pressure for being pressured over his decision .....for some reason he could just not find it in himself to reverse the decision.
Martial should have been sent off in which case as the perpetrator of an event that required his opponent to go.

Billeewithers added 03:35 - Feb 3
As SanMarco has pointed out the players are level. picking the width of a shirt is irrelevant .... the rule says level ..... not exactly to the mm but just plain level. In both instances they were level.
So 2-1 up against Villa and 1-4 down against Mu.
Martial dives. ....he was falling before any contact and dragged his leg onto his opponents far leg which was going away behind him .... such a clear dive. Funny but the ref cannot claim crowd pressure for being pressured over his decision .....for some reason he could just not find it in himself to reverse the decision.
Martial should have been sent off in which case as the perpetrator of an event that required his opponent to go.

Billeewithers added 03:38 - Feb 3
As SanMarco has pointed out the players are level. picking the width of a shirt is irrelevant .... the rule says level ..... not exactly to the mm but just plain level. In both instances they were level.
So 2-1 up against Villa and 1-4 down against Mu.
Martial dives. ....he was falling before any contact and dragged his leg onto his opponents far leg which was going away behind him .... such a clear dive. Funny but the ref cannot claim crowd pressure for being pressured over his decision .....for some reason he could just not find it in himself to reverse the decision.
Martial should have been sent off in which case as the perpetrator of an event that required his opponent to go.

PaleRider added 07:34 - Feb 3
So much to say - so difficult feeling so gutted!

1) We have no leaders - there is no way we should have lost 9-0 .... again!
2) sorry, but I hope never to see Jankewitz in any Saints shirt for a long time. he was irresponsible and let the team and Saints supporters down;
3) I hope everyone involved with this humiliation donates their February salaries to the Saints Foundation as some sort of recompense. Either that or do some volunteering for the NHS;
4) The Dean and Mason show. I have said after the Villa game that it is statistically improbable for that many mistakes to go against one team rather than another. This is even truer last night. It goes way beyond even gross incompetence and points towards either unconscious bias or conscious bias or deliberate cheating. Either way it needs investigating by the football authorities and swift action needs to be taken. Saints need to a) call for an inquiry, b) refuse to play if either of these two are refereeing or on VAR - even if it means forfeiting a game; at least it would be fair;
5) The recent window has shown a devastating lack of ambition. Even before things got difficult with China Gao had not invested in the club (he just bought shares off a third party) so Nick's assessment of his willingness to invest is about as accurate as last night's offside call. Gao has no empathy with the supporters and shows little interest in the club - it has long been time for him to either step up and show leadership or f*ck off. It's now too late - he needs to just f*ck off.

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