March 15, 2024

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VAR Drama Keeps Spurs Waiting On Last 16 As Bentancur Earns Sporting Draw

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For Antonio Conte, the Champions League is still a harsh mistress. A manager who has won five domestic league titles has yet to advance past the competition’s quarterfinals, and the VAR gods intervened as he was celebrating Tottenham’s advancement this season.

The crazed celebrations of goal scorer Harry Kane and his manager had paralleled each other in the final seconds of added time, but after an eternity of waiting, it was determined that Kane had been offside from Emerson Royal’s header just before he scored the game-winning goal. Conte’s joy fluctuated into a blind rage because it was all too much for him. In the midst of chaotic, insurrectionary scenes, he was given a red card.

“I’m really upset,” said Conte, in his protracted post-game tirade. “I don’t think this choice is being made honestly. It causes significant damage.”

“Of course, we thought we’d won it, the way we celebrated,” said Matt Doherty. “The final events are something I’m not entirely sure of.” His situation wasn’t unique. “It’s still in our hands,” said the In the midst of such disappointment, an Irishman tries to strike a hopeful note.

Whatever the debate over VAR, Tottenham must reach an agreement with Marseille by next Tuesday in order to advance. Three Premier League losses in a terrible month are still going on. Marcus Edwards put Spurs in danger with an early goal during a brilliant first-half performance from the former Tottenham youngster, but Rodrigo Bentancur was able to head in an equalizer.

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And despite all of Tottenham’s efforts, just like in Sunday’s defeat to Newcastle, the much-desired goal did not materialize. At full-time, there were boos once more, even though they were directed at Danny Makkelie, the referee, and his fellow officials.

Conte had made six adjustments because so many of the players were out of form. In an effort to fill in for Dejan Kulusevski’s absence, Lucas Moura was making his first start of the year. Doherty and Ivan Perisic supplemented the attack from the wingback position, while Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Cristian Romero provided experience in the midfield and defense.

Recently, Ruben Amorim has been mentioned in connection with managerial openings at Wolves and Aston Villa. Sporting’s 2-0 victory over Spurs in September and this tenacious yet creative performance will further enhance his reputation. The fan base of his team had flocked to London in large numbers, filling the north London sky with foul fireworks and gruff chants.

Sporting didn’t arrive to take it easy; they came to play for their own chances at the Champions League. They capitalized on the Spurs’ fear in an open first half. Edwards, who was born in Enfield, caused trouble right away with his erratic running. Paulinho was not covered when Pedro Porro’s cross found him in the 20th minute, but the striker lifted the ball over.

However, Edwards quickly avoided Højbjerg’s frantic tackle and beat Hugo Lloris with a low shot. It was a good goal from a player whose comeback is one of the most encouraging stories of the European season, but the Frenchman was almost certainly disappointed to lose from that distance. Edwards made an attempt at a non-celebration celebration, but it obviously failed.

“All my family and friends are here supporting me,” he said. “I had planned to avoid celebrating, but I just couldn’t resist. I traveled a great distance to get here.”

The 23-year-old had a great time on his big night out, but his manager was warning him to be careful. “He can be very good but he must improve,” said Amorim. “In the second half, he must continue where he left off.” Edwards was eventually replaced after being pushed to the sidelines.

Tottenham had a dismal, aimless first half, which was reflected in Lloris’ error. Their oranges at halftime were clearly served with Italian expletives. Soon after, Højbjerg forced a corner, and from it, after some pinball in the penalty area, Kane’s volley was well saved before Doherty leaned too far back on the rebound. Next, a Son shot needed to be saved by the overworked Antonio Adán.

Despite Francisco Trincaão missing a good opportunity, Tottenham continued to be under pressure. After Son Heung-min won an unlikely penalty, Moura dragged a shot wide. Romero was fortunate to avoid receiving a red card for a reckless-appearing challenge on Paulinho as desperation set in.

When Matt Doherty was replaced by Bryan Gil in the final fifteen minutes of the game, Spurs had four up front, huge gaps at the back, and Flávio Nazinho had two excellent opportunities with Lloris exposed. Amorim sank to his knees as Bentancur nodded in the equalizer from Perisic’s corner but when Kane’s “winner’ was ruled out in the 98th minute, It would be even more agonizing for Conte. both audibly and visibly.

Reference: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2022/oct/26/tottenham-sporting-lisbon-champions-league-match-report

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