Premier League legends lay into Fazio after Southampton draw

Steve McManaman, Owen Hargreaves Paul Scholes were critical of the Tottenham centre back's aerial contribution.

The three former England stars were highly critical of Tottenham defender Federico Fazio after the Londoner's game at St Mary's, in BT Sport's coverage of the 2-2 draw.

The giant Argentinian was culpable of letting Graziano Pelle have a free, and unchecked run onto a wonderful Shane Long cross. The Italian complied with a bullet header past Hugo Lloris.

It wasn't the first time Fazio has let a target man get ahead of him to score a header, with Christian Benteke getting the winner from a cross against Aston Villa a couple of weeks ago. The three pundits referenced the Belgian's goal after watching Pelle's effort on a replay.

"When you’re the central defender you have to be stronger and better," said former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves. 

"Pelle gets up big and strong and has a good header, but Fazio has to be closer," said Liverpool favourite Steve McManaman.

United legend Paul Scholes cut the ex-Sevilla captain a bit of slack, though still conceded he should have been closer to his man on the two goals.

"On both occasions Fazio was back on his heels," said Scholes. "Once the forward has the run it’s difficult."

The Benteke and Pelle goals have cost Spurs 3 points, an amount that would have put them beyond Southampton and Liverpool and significantly closer to the top four.

  PositionTeamAerial WonPercentage of Aerial Duels WonMins Played
Graziano Pellè FW Southampton 4 57% 90
Federico Fazio DF Tottenham 3 43% 90
Jan Vertonghen DF Tottenham 3 75% 90
Maya Yoshida DF Southampton 3 100% 90
Jose Fonte DF Southampton 1 100% 90

Considering he was the tallest player on the pitch against Southampton, it's a wonder why he won the fewest headers of any central defender.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch