Watford Coach Quique Sanchez Flores has slammed the “unfair” Premier League killjoys who took a goal away from Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo.
Flores is sad that Hornets top scorer Ighalo's effort at Chelsea on Boxing Day has been reassigned as a Gary Cahill own goal by the anonymous and unaccountable dubious goals panel.
Ighalo's 14 goals this season – as far as Mirror Sport is concerned, his strike at Chelsea stands – have made him one of English football's hottest properties.
Watford are bracing themselves for a blizzard of big-money offers for Ighalo, 26, in the summer, with Arsenal and Atletico Madrid among the front runners.
His transfer value will not be diminished by the dubious goals committee, whose identities are a closely-guarded secret at the Premier League.
But as Ighalo bids to resume his rampage against Southampton on Wednesday night, Flores is not amused by the panel's duff call, which is a binding decision with no right of appeal.
He said: “It's unfair. Ighalo's shot was on target, the deflection off the defender only changed the direction by this much (gesturing an inch between his thumb and index finger).
“It's strange – for me, it's not fair. So we have Ighalo with one goal less, when Cahill was trying to stop it?
“Fortunately, Ighalo is very strong and confident. It is not a problem for him.”
He said: “Maybe last year Southampton did better than expected with the squad they had. They were fighting against United, City, Arsenal and Chelsea near the top and it was an amazing performance.
“This year maybe some results have affected the confidence of their players, but they have an amazing manager, amazing fans and two weeks ago they scored four against Arsenal, so we know their potential is very high.
“I came across their manager, Ronald Koeman, a lot in Spanish football when he was at Barcelona and I was playing for Valencia.
“We are not friends, but we were contemporary players and we expect only a tough match.”