‘He’s struggling with confidence’ — Ex Premier League referee slams Atkinson’s decision against Southampton

Photo: Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

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Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Southampton was one filled with controversy as the Blues went on to win the game 3-1.

Chelsea had a goal decision ruled out by VAR, while referee Martin Atkinson needed the intervention of VAR to hand James Ward-Prowse a red card for his late tackle on Jorginho.

Former Premier League referee Keith Hackett has said that Atkinson is in poor form and lacking in confidence at the moment. According to Hackett, Atkinson shouldn’t need VAR to issue a red card to Ward-Prowse.

“Meanwhile, Martin Atkinson, who has been a top-class referee for several years, appears to me to be struggling with his form and confidence,” Hackett said in his Caught Offside column.

“In the 75th minute of the Chelsea vs Southampton game, Atkinson raised a yellow card for a challenge by Ward-Prowse but was advised by VAR to take a look at the monitor.

“He did, yellow turned to red and Ward-Prowse was correctly dismissed. It was a challenge that Atkinson shouldn’t have required VAR intervention for.”

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