When push comes to shove, it’s stalemate 0 0
TOTTENHAM were again left fuming at VAR after they were denied a clear penalty in a 0-0 draw at Bournemouth which does nothing for either side’s ambitions this season.
After seeing a Lucas Moura goal ruled out by VAR official Michael Oliver in last week’s loss at Sheffield United, Oliver was again the man who ruled Harry Kane had not been pushed early in the game.
Spurs put in a below-par performance that hurts their Europa League hopes, failing to have a shot on target in the entire match, and the fate of their season and whether they can qualify for
Europe now clearly hinge on Sunday’s north London derby.
Bournemouth, who lost Adam Smith to a nasty head injury, ended a run of four successive defeats since the restart and they could have taken the three points, but Callum Wilson’s goal was ruled out by Oliver after Josh King handled. They remain three points from safety and face a real fight to retain their Premier League status.
Spurs were utterly toothless going forward, with their entire side condemned to an ‘average position’ inside their own half in the opening 45 minutes.
It forced Jose Mourinho into two changes at half-time, with Tanguy Ndombele brought back from exile, coming on for just the second time since the restart, along with Heung-min Son.
The game was subject to a lengthy hold-up early in the second half as Smith was knocked out after an aerial challenge with Ben Davies. He needed eight minutes of treatment and left the field on a stretcher with an oxygen mask on.
Spurs’ changes helped them become more of a threat but Erik Lamela’s glanced header that drifted wide was their only moment of promise.
Whatever Mourinho’s misgivings about Oliver, the VAR official came to his side’s rescue in the 90th minute.
Callum Wilson’s overhead kick found the bottom corner but it hit King’s hand on the way in and Oliver ruled it out. Lloris was the next person to rescue Spurs in the fifth minute of 12 added on as the France goalkeeper raced out to block Harry Wilson’s effort.
Fall guy: Kane goes down but no penalty was awarded