Koeman: We were cheated
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has urged the Football Association to keep a close eye on the performances of English referee Mike Jones in the wake of his team's 2-3 loss to Manchester United.
Koeman took charge of The Saints for the first time in Monday's game, but was left fuming after the final whistle. Southampton threw away a two-goal lead to lose the match, but the Dutch boss believes that Louis van Gaal's side cheated their way to the win.
The 51-year-old believed that two of United's goal should not have stood, and has pleaded with the F.A. to review Jones' performance.
He had no qualms about United's first goal, and even praised the teamwork that went into the corner, but it was the equalizing goal that enraged him. Koeman is adamant that Croatian defender Dejan Lovren was fouled by Spanish midfielder Juan Mata - the 25-year-old received treatment on the sidelines following the incident.
The goal came from a corner, but there was an altercation between Mata and Lovren, and replays later showed that the Manchester United player had shoved Lovren to the floor, causing him to dislocate his thumb.
"If Jones can't see how much pain Lovren is in, then he is a fool. What defenders do you see crying out in pain like that to try to benefit their team on purpose? He was forced off of the field with the injury that Juan caused him, and it was clear to everyone but Jones that he was genuinely hurt. There was definitely intent by Mata, and it helped his team to the equaliing goal. If Dejan had been able to defend, then there is a chance that United would not have scored."
Late into the second half, another controversial Manchester United goal came, when Danny Welbeck headed the winning goal - from what Koeman believed to be an offside position. Replays since showed that the goal was legible, but the Southampton manager still questioned the speed at which the official made up his mind.
"He didn't even look at his assistant, he gave the goal instantly, when there were questions by my players about the goal. There was so much riding on this goal for my team, and he gave the goal without a second thought. My players felt that Welbeck was in an offside position, and therefore, I did too, until I saw the replay. I really do think that this performance from such a reputable referee is completely unacceptable, and I think that the English F.A. need to watch him closely in the future, to ensure that no team is cheated in this way again."
F.A. chairman Greg Dyke has made no comment on the matter.