Southampton ask Premier League for two referees not to take charge of future matches

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Poor Southampton.

Just when everyone was beginning to forget all about their 9-0 loss against Leicester 15 months ago, it happened again.

This time, Manchester United were the assailant.

But if ever a 9-0 defeat can be described as ‘unlucky’ then this was it.

Okay, there was nothing unlucky about Alexandre Jankewitz’s red card inside two minutes as the 19-year-old produced a shocking challenge on Scott McTominay.

Southampton found themselves 4-0 down at half time but thought they had pulled a goal back through Che Adams eight minutes into the second half.

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However, a very marginal offside call by VAR saw the goal disallowed.

United scored another two goals to make it 6-0 before salt was rubbed very hard into Southampton’s wounds.

Anthony Martial went down under minimal - if any - contact from Jan Bednarek.

Mike Dean showed the defender a red card and awarded United a penalty - one that even Martial and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted was harsh.

Bruno Fernandes scored from the spot as Martial and Dan James made it 9-0 against the nine men of Southampton.

It was the second match in the space of three days that the Saints were left cursing poor officiating.

On Saturday evening, they were incredibly denied a stonewall penalty against Aston Villa for Matty Cash’s handball. Lee Mason waved away the protests and VAR didn’t intervene.

Danny Ings then had an equaliser ruled out after VAR adjudged his arm to be offside.

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And now, Southampton have had enough.

In response, the club have now asked that both referees in the two previous matches - Mike Dean and Lee Mason - are banned from officiating them in the near future, per Radio Solent's Sports Editor Adam Blackmore.

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Wow. That is surely a first in the Premier League - a club asking if certain referees don’t take charge of their matches.

Whether or not the league will grant this request remains to be seen but it seems unlikely - at least for a long period. The Premier League only has a certain number of referees and, with matches coming thick and fast, it will be difficult to avoid certain refereeing appointments.

Either way, it’s clear that Southampton are furious with the decisions made by Dean and Mason in their last two games. And you can’t exactly blame them…

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