An atrocious reading of the laws took Harry Kane’s early equalizer off the board at Bramall Lane in what would become a 3-1 Tottenham loss to Sheffield United on Thursday.
Sheffield United had taken a 1-0 lead when Spurs struck off the restart to tie the score through Kane’s low drive past Dean Henderson.
But VAR’s reading of the rulebook adjudged that the ball ricocheting off a falling Lucas Moura’s arm while he was facing the opposite direction was reason to pull it off the board.
There’s letter of the law, yeah, but even Blades boss Chris Wilder is going to stand with infuriated Spurs boss Jose Mourinho on this one.
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Mourinho, for what it’s worth, was angry with the call and did deploy his usual referee name drop, but critiqued his team’s response or lack of it.
“We have to be mentally stronger to cope with what happened in the game. We cannot mentally die after Michael Oliver’s decision. I know it’s difficult to take, In the second half we had ball but we didn’t have chances to change the game.”
He, of course, did have plenty to say about Oliver’s decision.
“I think I cannot say what I feel,” Mourinho said. “It’s not the referee anymore. The man on the pitch is the assistant referee, The man and lady with the flags are now the assistants of the assistant referees.”
Wednesday saw a silly VAR call that at least made a modicum of sense when a prone and technically offside West Ham’s Michail Antonio was stranded between goal scorer Tomas Soucek and would-be stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Here is his post-match presser before he issued the above comments with the assembled media.
🗣"I'm not happy because we played with a very offensive team"
Jose Mourinho on Tottenham's performance pic.twitter.com/NrBcxIZmbm
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 2, 2020