Tottenham Hotspur probably didn’t deserve to win their match against Liverpool at Wembley Stadium yesterday, but Spurs’ manager thinks they should’ve had the chance to earn themselves a point. Mauricio Pochettino lamented a missed penalty call from match official Michael Oliver after Sadio Mane kicked the foot of Son Heung-Min in the Liverpool box during the final minute of stoppage time.
Replays showed that the incident should’ve been called a penalty, but Oliver declined to make the call, which might have earned Spurs an unlikely draw against the undefeated Reds. Pochettino admitted his side was second best but said that the incident should’ve been flagged.
“I think everyone saw it was very clearly a penalty on Son from Mane. I think we should be talking in a different way now, if it was given it’s 2-2 if we score the goal. Now talking about character and personality. But that is not going to change with different results. We need to improve a lot.”
Poch is right about the incident — it looked like a clear-cut penalty decision to me — but he’s also right about Spurs being the second-best team on the Wembley pitch on Saturday. Liverpool played very well and took their chances, keeping Spurs on their back heels for large portions of the match.
Pochettino went on to say that Spurs need to “improve a lot” going forward.
“I told you after Newcastle, Fulham and Old Trafford like in Watford and today, the circumstances are the circumstances and the reality the reality. We need to still improve and improve a lot. This type of game shows you that we need to improve if we want to contend in the end to win some title.”
Spurs have a big opportunity to bounce back in Tuesday’s Champions League group stage opener against Inter Milan at the San Siro, but they’ll need to do it again without club captain and starting keeper Hugo Lloris, who will remain out for the next few weeks after picking up an injury in training.