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Pochettino says Liverpool penalty ‘very soft’ but accepts decision


Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has said that Liverpool were awarded a “soft” penalty in their 2-1 away defeat to the Premier League leaders on Sunday, but accepted referee’s decision to hand the host side an opportunity to crown three points.

The clash at Anfield on Sunday was 1-1 when referee Anthony Taylor admitted that Serge Spurs full-back, Aurier had fouled Sadio Mane in the box.

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Mohamed Salah converted the subsequent spot-kick 15 minutes from time to complete Liverpool’s comeback win after Jordan Henderson had cancelled out Harry Kane’s 47-second opener.

And manager Pochettino feels the call was a little harsh on his side, who end the weekend in 11th place following their fourth league defeat of the campaign.

“I don’t want to complain – I need to accept the decision of the referee and the VAR,” he said at his post-match news conference. “Technically maybe it’s a Penalty because there’s some contact. But to be honest, the ball is going away.

“It’s an action that you know is very soft. The penalty was given and we need to accept it’s the decision of the referee or the VAR.”

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Son Heung-min was instrumental in creating Kane’s early goal and struck the crossbar early in the second half with Tottenham still in front.

However, Henderson equalised for Liverpool four minutes later and Pochettino was left to rue what could have been.

“This season, we have deserved to get more points in the table,” he said. “These things happen and that is the moment to stay stronger.

“Maybe in different seasons this type of situation results in 2-0 or 3-0 for us in the second half but today it was a different way.”

Tottenham find themselves in the bottom half of the Premier League in November for the first time since 2014, but Pochettino is not blaming his players for their disappointing start to the campaign and wants them to stay united.

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“I am behind our squad, supporting them fully,” he said. “We have 29 players and they will all have the opportunity to play. After five years and a half at Tottenham it is a time to all be together and show our support.

“It was a very competitive game today and we competed well. I am of course a little bit disappointed in that with the ball we didn’t have the possession in playing and forcing them to play deeper. In that aspect I’m disappointed but we competed and we need to keep pushing.

“We were playing today against a very good team. I think Liverpool are one of the best teams in Europe and we were very competitive.”

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Pochettino says Liverpool penalty ‘very soft’ but accepts decision


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