Tottenham: VAR appears to ignore potential penalty decision
Footage has emerged which shows VAR ignored a potential push in the back on Tottenham Hotspur’s Richarlison during their midweek Champions League tie.
The Lowdown: Spurs lucky to still be in the game
While losing the first leg would have never been the plan for Spurs or Antonio Conte, the fact that AC Milan squandered two huge chances to potentially put the game to bed will make them feel this narrow defeat isn’t too bad.
Tottenham did indeed have chances of their own as Eric Dier mistimed his jump when unmarked less than 10 yards from the goal as his header bounced wide of the goal without troubling Milan goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.
Spurs certainly weren’t threatening last night, mustering up an expected goals ratio of just 0.5 (as per FBref), but skipper Harry Kane could well have been handed a glorious chance to level things up had Richarlison been awarded a penalty.
The Latest: VAR ignores push in the back
As Richarlison was guiding the ball out of the Milan box, defender Rade Krunic appeared to barge the Brazilian in the back, which forced him to take a tumble, although VAR seemingly didn’t wish to get involved in the decision.
Given Kane’s high-profile penalty miss at the World Cup over the winter, there is no guarantee he would have netted in the San Siro, but it certainly would have been their best chance to level things up on the night considering their aforementioned lack of threat.
The Verdict: Richarlison unlucky to not get a penalty
Tottenham clearly didn’t do enough to win or even get a draw out of the game, but if VAR had chosen to review this incident and awarded a penalty, Spurs could have been buoyed heading into the second leg.
The fact that VAR decided to not intervene with this decision when the level of Krunic’s contact is far from shoulder to shoulder as he clearly leans into Richarlison’s back will surely have fans and Conte fuming.
However, Tottenham can’t be relying on contentious penalty decisions going their way in the Champions League, as given how poor AC Milan have been this season – the reigning champions sit fifth in Serie A – Spurs should perhaps have been picking up some sort of positive result last night.