Belfast Telegraph

Pochettino accepts referee Pawson’s decisions after two red cards

Spurs would have guaranteed Champions League football next season had they won on the south coast.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino, centre, kept his counsel after two Spurs players were sent off against Bournemouth (Mark Kerton/PA)
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino, centre, kept his counsel after two Spurs players were sent off against Bournemouth (Mark Kerton/PA)

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino chose to keep his counsel after his side were reduced to nine men in a last-gasp 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth.

Spurs would have guaranteed Champions League football next season had they won on the south coast but red cards for Son Heung-min and Juan Foyth killed their chances of that as they fell to Nathan Ake’s late goal.

They looked like they were going to earn a valiant point in what would have been their first away draw of the season until Ake headed home an injury-time corner for the Cherries.

Son had earlier walked for pushing Jefferson Lerma and Foyth was sent off three minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute for a reckless tackle.

They were perhaps lucky not to be further reduced as Eric Dier should have been sent off for two yellow cards before Son was dismissed.

Pochettino, who earlier this season received a two-match touchline ban for accosting referee Mike Dean, said he had to accept Craig Pawson’s decisions.

“I think I don’t need to explain too much. I think everyone saw on TV and in the stadium here what happened. That is football,” he said.

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Referee Craig Pawson shows Son Heung-min (floor) a red card (Mark Kerton/PA)

“I haven’t watched the red cards yet. I don’t know, we have to accept the decision of the referee.

“That’s it. Nothing to say. It’s so difficult to see the details or the intention, whether it was yellow or red, but we need to accept the decision.”

Even if he did not discuss it, Pochettino will be furious at his side’s indiscipline as they were in total command of the match prior to Son’s dismissal.

Playing a strong side, despite their Champions League semi-final at Ajax on Wednesday, Pochettino saw his men create a hatful of chances but came up against an inspired debutant in Mark Travers.

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Bournemouth goalkeeper Mark Travers impressed for the hosts (Mark Kerton/PA)

The 19-year-old goalkeeper was making his first Premier League start and produced fine saves to deny Lucas Moura twice and Dele Alli twice.

Even in the second half, Bournemouth rarely troubled Spurs until Ake lost his marker from an injury time corner, to leave the visitors likely needing a win in their final Premier League game of the season to secure a top-four berth.

“It’s impossible to manage everything,” Pochettino said. “That is cruel because I think after fighting for all the second half with nine players, conceding the goal in the last minute is always cruel but that is football.

“They are the circumstances that we must accept and we need to move on because now it’s wasting time in analysing too much because we have ahead two games, the semi-final against Ajax and at the weekend against Everton, two finals that depend on us.

“The most important thing now is to move on.

“We played 45 minutes with two players less than Bournemouth and in the end of the match the man of the match was their keeper.

“When you think a bit about that I think we were playing, the first half (should have been) 3-0 to us and easy game but you finish it with one red card and three yellow cards, crazy game.”

Bournemouth earned a first ever league win over Spurs and boss Eddie Howe does not think his side were helped by the two red cards.

“It changed the game completely,” he said. “We were suddenly dominating the ball and I don’t think we did it particularly well with the advantage we had.

“It looked like we were going to run out of time to win the game, but luckily we have popped up with the late goal.

“I didn’t see Jefferson Lerma’s involvement in the first red card, I just saw the reaction and unfortunately that has to be a red card.

“And the second one, the boy hasn’t gone in to do any damage but he was high and the referee didn’t have any option.”

PA

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