Mark Hughes was highly critical of referee Anthony Taylor’s performance and hinted at a general bias against his side at home as Stoke City played for over an hour with 10 men in their “magnificent” 0-0 draw against Southampton.
Marko Arnautovic was sent off for a challenge on Sofiane Boufal after 23 minutes, leaving Hughes’ men to see out the rest of Wednesday’s Premier League game against the dominant Saints at the bet365 Stadium.
Shane Long also could have been dismissed for the visitors, having tangled with Bruno Martins Indi, and Hughes felt that showed the officials’ inconsistency as his back-line excelled.
“[Arnautovic’s red card] is unfortunate, because he obviously caught him high on the thigh, but the ball was bouncing around and it wasn’t a violent movement to take the player out,” he said.
“I feel that common sense should have prevailed, but officials come here and for some reason seem to think that giving out cards early to Stoke players seems to be the norm.
“The ref wasn’t great on the night, he missed a number of decisions and clearly missed an elbow from Shane Long on Bruno Martins Indi – that needs looking at again.
“Overall the ref put us in a situation and we had to show real work ethic and understanding of what was required. Given the circumstances, the point we gained was magnificent.”
Claude Puel, meanwhile, described his own disappointment as Southampton failed to turn a number of good chances into a winning goal.
“It’s a disappointment,” the Saints boss told BBC Radio Solent. “We lost two points. In the first half, we lacked intensity in the final third.
“In the second half it was better, without a solution. It’s always difficult to play against 10 players. We didn’t find space, but I felt we could do better with our crosses, shots and combinations.
“In the end, it was difficult to take the opportunities. It’s disappointing because it was a good opportunity to take three points. It’s just one point, but we will take one point away [from home].”
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