'It's hard to understand' - Kane flummoxed by VAR's no penalty decision in Newcastle defeat

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Down a goal and entering the closing stages against the Magpies at the weekend, Spurs were denied a contentious spot-kick

Harry Kane has questioned the use of VAR in Tottenham’s defeat to Newcastle, revealing referee Mike Dean said he had not seen the incident properly when deciding not to award a penalty against Jamaal Lascelles.

Spurs were trailing 1-0 at home in the closing stages when Kane ran onto a ball in the box and Lascelles fell across him, appearing to bring him down.

Dean waved away Kane’s appeal and that decision stood after a review by the Video Assistant Referee, with referees group PGMOL explaining there was “not enough evidence to overturn the original call”.

Kane, though, believes this was precisely the kind of incident where he should have benefited from VAR.

“It’s there to help the referee on the pitch,” he said. “Mike Dean said that he just didn’t know, he couldn’t see, so that’s where the VAR is there to help him out.

“If he had said ‘no penalty’ and the VAR was a 50-50, then you can agree. But I don’t know what his conversation was with them upstairs, if he said he didn’t see it or not.

“I’ve watched it back and find it hard to understand how it hasn’t been given. It’s just like if a goalkeeper comes out, uses his arms and trips you up – it’s a penalty. I kind of tripped over his arm and then his body fell into me.

“Whether it was deliberate or not, from my point of view it’s hard to take. But I said last week [after the Manchester City game] that with VAR sometimes you are going to get the rub of the green, sometimes not.

“The offsides are definite because there is a kind of guarantee. The 50-50 ones are always hard. It’s never going to take away that speculation because, like this one, it’s always a matter of opinion.”

While Kane feels he was a victim of injustice that potentially cost his side a point, he has also been honest about Spurs’ own failings.

“I don’t think we did enough in the final third to win the game,” he said. “We didn’t quite have the answers in their box and the final third to get that breakthrough. The decision is the decision but overall we could have done better as a team and it’s just a hard loss to take.

“I think we have to learn that teams who come here and get an early goal, they’re going to defend and make it tough. We need to have the answers to that.

“Winning the first game [against Aston Villa] was great and getting a point at Manchester City is not a bad result. But this is where we needed to step up if we want to be up there come the end of the season. These are the games at home that you have to win.

“I said after the first weekend of the season, when Liverpool won on the Friday and then Manchester City won early on the Saturday, that they set the standard with their results. I said we had to keep up with them and make sure we win, especially at home.

“It’s disappointing that we haven’t done that in only our second home game. It just means we’re going to have to pick up points in the big games, the tough games, and try to improve on what we did against Newcastle.”

Tottenham certainly have a big game next as they visit Arsenal on Sunday.

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“You never want to go into an international break having lost or drawn, and of course a north London derby is as big as it gets,” said Kane.

“If we win that it makes the first four games a bit brighter. But it’s not going to be an easy game so we have to make sure we’re prepared and ready for that one.

“As you’re seeing from Liverpool and City so far there’s no letting up from them. I said before the start of the season that a team that can put a good run together, get momentum, maybe win for two or three months on the bounce without dropping any points, that’s what it’s going to take [to challenge the top two]. It’s a disappointing start but there’s a long way to go.”

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