'Worst decision ever': Outrage over 'ridiculous' VAR drama

Andrew Reid
·5-min read
Pictured here, the VAR controversy that denied Spurs a first half goal against Sheffield.
The handball call against Lucas Moura looked particularly harsh. Pic: Optus Sport

A controversial VAR decision has proven costly for Tottenham against Sheffield United in the Premier League, with Spurs manager Jose Mourinho joining viewers in condemning the call.

Mourinho said VAR is bad for the "beautiful game" after watching his Spurs lose at Sheffield United, insisting that "the referee should be the man on the pitch".

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Spurs suffered their 11th defeat of the season at Bramall Lane, as the Blades ran out deserved 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Sander Berge, Lys Mousset and Oli McBurnie.

Berge opened the scoring on the half-hour mark, but Harry Kane appeared to hit an equaliser two minutes later after a dizzying run from Lucas Moura.

Tottenham's joy was short-lived, however, as a VAR review ruled that Moura handled the ball as he went down under a challenge just outside the box.

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Kane's goal - had it not have been disallowed - may very well have changed the entire context of the match.

The call, while technically correct by the letter of the law because it involved the ball hitting an arm in the lead-up to a goal, was incredibly harsh considering Moura was fouled and had no idea where the ball was when it was blasted into him from point-blank range.

While Kane did find the net again for a goal that actually did stand late on, it was the Blades who earned all three points after an impressive second-half performance.

Kane's disallowed goal proved a massive talking point after the match though, with Mourinho sharing the frustrations of many viewers over VAR.

Mourinho questioned the way video technology is used, insisting the removal of human error is having a detrimental effect on the game.

"I think I cannot say what I feel. 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," Mourinho told reporters.

"The referee should be the man on the pitch. We are going into a direction which is really bad for a game that is a beautiful game."

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Manager admits Spurs need to be better

Mourinho conceded that while the first half decision was a tough pill to swallow, his side needed to respond better to the adversity.

"We have to do better. We have to be mentally stronger to cope with what happened in the game. We cannot mentally die after (referee) Michael Oliver's decision.

"I think the team was playing well in the first half. We scored and then the team felt too much. I think now I know more the profile of my players.

"I know it's difficult to take, in the second half we had the ball but we didn't have chances to change the game.

Seen here, Jose Mourinho on the sidelines for Spurs in their match against Sheffield United.
Jose Mourinho was less than impressed with the VAR decision. Pic: Getty

"We played with a very offensive team plus Gio [Lo Celso] and Moussa [Sissoko] as midfield players. We have to create more chances then we did. I have to admit I am disappointed."

Tottenham are now nine points behind Chelsea in the race for a top-four finish, with a tough fixture against an in-form Everton side up next on Monday.

Pressed on how he will motivate his squad for their remaining six fixtures after such a damaging setback, Mourinho responded: "It's very easy to motivate myself because it's my nature. I think the motivation should be self-motivation that is directly related to professionalism.

"If these boys don't care about results and the position we finish in at the end of the season then we will be in big trouble in the future."

with agencies