FORMER referee chief and FIFA level official Keith Hackett has reinforced that Saints were hard-done by at the weekend, saying: “It was a penalty kick for sure, I was going to be kind to Walker by suggesting a yellow.”

The England international defender Kyle Walker and Saints forward Adam Armstrong collided in the box around the hour mark, when Jonathan Moss showed the right-back a red card and awarded the visitors a spot-kick.

That was turned over after consultation with the VAR official Martin Atkinson, and after James Ward-Prowse had already sank one pressure penalty this season at Newcastle, a golden opportunity to scalp the reigning champions was redacted.

What’s done is done and Saints picked up a good point on the road, but Hackett has taken to social media to offer his views on the weekend’s officiating.

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On Moss’ decision, he said: “Nothing to change my mind that VAR should not have intervened.

“It was a penalty kick for sure. I initially was going to be kind to Walker by suggesting yellow.

“Frankly he did not make an attempt for the ball so referee got it right PK and red. VAR completely wrong, it was not clear and obvious.

“A poor weekend for referees and over indulgent VAR.”

One user responded and suggested to Hackett that Armstrong actually fouled Walker in the process of looking for a decision, but the Sheffield-born 77-year-old – who has refereed FA Cup finals and international tournaments – politely disagreed.

He added: “You are entitled to your opinion. I do not agree with your view. Please look at Walkers body position in the challenge.”

The result means Saints are unbeaten in four but still without a win during the 2021-22 Premier League season, ahead of the visit from Wolves this weekend.