News Matches
Sheffield United vs Tottenham Hotspur

'The referee should be the man on the pitch' - Mourinho says VAR is 'bad for the beautiful game' after Spurs lose at Sheffield United

21:11 BST 02/07/2020
Jose Mourinho Tottenham 2019-20
The Portuguese was left dejected after seeing a key decision go against his side on a frustrating night at Bramall Lane

Jose Mourinho said VAR is bad for the "beautiful game" after watching Tottenham lose at Sheffield United on Thursday, and expressed his belief that "the referee should be the man on the pitch".

Spurs suffered their 11th defeat of the season at Bramall Lane, as the Blades ran out deserved 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Sander Berge, Lys Mousset and Oli McBurnie.

Berge opened the scoring on the half-hour mark, but Harry Kane appeared to hit an equaliser two minutes later after a dizzying run from Lucas Moura.

Tottenham's joy was short-lived, however, as a VAR review ruled that Moura handled the ball as he went down under a challenge just outside the box.

Referee Michael Oliver chalked Kane's goal off, and although he found the net again late on, it was the Blades who earned all three points after an impressive second-half performance.

Mourinho questioned the way video technology is used, insisting the removal of human error is having a detrimental effect on the game.

The Spurs boss told reporters: "I think I cannot say what I feel. It's not the referee anymore. The man on the pitch is the assistant referee, The man and lady with the flags are now the assistants of the assistant referees.

"The referee should be the man on the pitch. We are going into a direction which is really bad for a game that is a beautiful game."

Mourinho added on his side's inability to respond after Oliver's controversial first-half decision: "We have to do better. We have to be mentally stronger to cope with what happened in the game. We cannot mentally die after Michael Oliver's decision.

"I think the team was playing well in the first half. We scored and then the team felt too much. I think now I know more the profile of my players.

"I know it's difficult to take, in the second half we had the ball but we didn't have chances to change the game.

"We played with a very offensive team plus Gio [Lo Celso] and Moussa [Sissoko] as midfield players. We have to create more chances then we did. I have to admit I am disappointed."

Tottenham are now nine points behind Chelsea in the race for a top-four finish, with a tough fixture against an in-form Everton side up next on Monday.

Pressed on how he will motivate his squad for their remaining six fixtures after such a damaging setback, Mourinho responded: "It's very easy to motivate myself because it's my nature. I think the motivation should be self-motivation that is directly related to professionalism.

"If these boys don't care about results and the position we finish in at the end of the season then we will be in big trouble in the future."