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Tottenham Hotspur

Mourinho confused by VAR after Liverpool defeat

00:17 EAT 12/01/2020
Jose Mourinho Tottenham Liverpool 11012020
Tottenham lost 1-0 to the Premier League leaders on Saturday, much to the coach's frustration

Jose Mourinho says he was confused about the use of VAR in Tottenham's 1-0 defeat to Liverpool on Saturday.

Liverpool netted the decisive goal in the first-half through Roberto Firmino, though the move was checked by VAR for a suspected handball from Jordan Henderson in the build up after a throw-in.

Spurs complained that the throw-in that started the move should have gone their way, as Serge Aurier appeared to knock it off of Sadio Mane's leg as it went out, but the goal was allowed to stand.

"I didn't watch [the replay]. What I saw is 200% that the throw in for the start of the goal was our throw," Mourinho told BBC Sport about the incident. "I am confused with VAR because of that."

Mourinho believes his side did not deserve to lose the clash against the Premier League leaders, but was disappointed to see them lose their composure at the throw-in after working on them in training the previous day.

"This is football. Sometimes you get more than you deserve. Sometimes you get less. This was an occasion when we got nothing when we deserved something," he said. "This is the best team in the world against a team in a difficult moment, with injuries, in a difficult part of the season. The boys were fantastic when we tried to change and create problems."

He continued to Spurs TV: “Apart from the result, I think there were so many positive, but sometimes football is cruel and today was one of these days. The boys gave absolutely everything and Liverpool, on top of being a fantastic football team, today they can say they are a lucky team.

“We created chances and we started creating these chances when we felt the game was completely under control. When Liverpool have games broken is when they kill opponents, we never let that happen, we were very, very solid. Then we felt that we had to have a real go with players like [Erik] Lamela, who hasn’t started a game for three or four months.

“We put everything in, a fantastic effort and great individual performances. For some players, individually, it was their best performance since I arrived. Absolutely, good, good, good performances. We did what was possible to do. I think we deserve much more than this frustration for the result, but I’m proud of the boys.

“The only frustration from the game is that we conceded the goal from a throw-in and yesterday we spent half an hour on defensive throw-ins. I don’t know if the boys were disappointed that the throw-in was our throw-in and became theirs. I don’t know if there was a couple of seconds were [players thought] ‘it’s my ball and now there’s a throw-in against me’. But that one is a bit of a frustration, apart from that they were fantastic.

“Without a striker we managed to create situations and arrive in very dangerous situations.”

Mourinho gave 20-year-old Japhet Tanganga his first Premier League appearance against the Reds, calling on the centre-back to start the game.

And the former Manchester United boss was delighted with the youngster's performance.

“I think in spite of the result, a bottle of champagne for him, for everyone at the academy who has worked with him in these years of his formation," he said. 

"I’m really proud of the kid and I know everyone at the club is happy because he showed great composure and very good personality. To play against Sadio Mane is not the same as playing in the Under 19s or 20s and the kid was very, very good so a game for him to remember, of course a result to forget.”

Spurs are nine points behind fourth-placed Chelsea after 22 games, but the coach has not lost hope of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

 "It is possible to talk about top four when you start the season on zero points. But it is hard to talk about it when you start at minus 12 (the number of points behind fourth place Spurs were when he took charge)."