Pochettino says VAR verdict sparked Leicester City fightback against Tottenham

By Sports Desk September 21, 2019

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino claimed the goal his side had disallowed by VAR inspired Leicester City to their victorious fightback at the King Power Stadium.

Spurs had a 1-0 lead through Harry Kane in the Premier League fixture on Saturday when Serge Aurier’s low angled drive nestled in the bottom corner of the net.

However, referee Paul Tierney reviewed the goal by VAR and it showed Son Heung-min was offside by the thinnest of margins in Spurs’ build-up so it was chalked off.

Leicester equalised shortly afterwards through Ricardo Pereira before James Maddison secured a 2-1 victory for the Foxes with a sublime long-range strike.

Pochettino believed the VAR decision was a decisive one which gave Leicester hope, when a second goal for his side would have killed the game as a contest.

"It gives belief to a team that could have been dead," Pochettino said, as his 250th match in charge of Spurs ended in defeat.

"Both sides are affected by this situation. If we score the second, the game is over.

"That is football. It is true to concede two goals every game makes it difficult to win. Before we concede we were the best side.

"After we concede at 1-1 we had chances to score the second. But in Premier League it is the most beautiful league because it is never over."

Leicester head coach Brendan Rodgers revealed the psychology of VAR decisions in matches was something he discussed with his team during team meetings before the new campaign.

The Foxes were denied a goal themselves when Wilfried Ndidi scrambled the ball home from close range when the scoreline was goalless.

"We spoke with the players in pre-season about VAR," Rodgers said 

"You have to deal with it, sometimes for you and against you. Have to accept it and move on. It was a very important three points.

"It's what happens with VAR, you have to get your head round it. It works for you and against you. It worked both ways for us today."

It meant Pochettino was left to rue another miserable Premier League away day without victory, a run that stretches back nine games to January.

"We need to improve our performance away from home," said the Tottenham boss. "We are going to work hard and improve. In the big picture, I am disappointed but very positive and optimistic."

Rodgers, meanwhile, reserved praise for Maddison’s spectacular winner.

"James didn't have his best game for him, but he is a top-level player," added the Northern Irishman. "He is a top young player, with so much improvement to make. He always has an eye for goal."

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