Belfast Telegraph

Pochettino says video absolves Son of blame for Gomes injury

Everton 1 Tottenham 1

Horror moment: Son Heung-Min’s challenge on Everton’s Andre Gomes sends him tumbling into a collision with Serge Aurier
Horror moment: Son Heung-Min’s challenge on Everton’s Andre Gomes sends him tumbling into a collision with Serge Aurier

By Carl Markham

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino insists Son Heung-min had no intention of injuring Andre Gomes and believes VAR should rescind the forward's red card in the 1-1 draw at Everton.

The Portugal international sustained a potentially season-ending injury after his lower right leg appeared to be seriously displaced after he fell awkwardly after being clipped by his opponent.

Referee Martin Atkinson initially issued a yellow card but subsequently followed it up with a red.

In a statement, the Premier League explained the change, saying: "The red card for Son was for endangering the safety of a player which happened as a consequence of his initial challenge."

However, Pochettino felt the video should have actually exonerated his player of serious blame.

"It was clear it was never the intention of Son to create the problem that happened afterwards. It is unbelievable to see a red card," said the Spurs boss.

"In that situation we need to help because the decision of the referee was yellow card but the VAR changed the decision. It is the latest example of it being not clear.

"VAR needs to check if it was a bad tackle from Son and judge the action not what happened after.

"We all feel sorry for Andre. I want to send my best wishes to him and to his family in this tough moment. We want to send, on behalf of the squad, our best wishes."

There appeared to be no ill will between the teams afterwards with Pochettino revealing Everton's club captain Seamus Coleman - who was out for a year after suffering a similarly-horrific double-fracture of his lower leg in March 2017 - spoke to the distraught Son afterwards.

"The players from Everton were fantastic. The captain came to the dressing room to console Son," said the Argentinian.

"I want to say thank you to the players and Coleman, who came in on behalf of the squad of Everton."

The injury overshadowed the game in which Toffees substitute Cenk Tosun equalised in the eighth of 12 minutes of added time following Dele Alli's opener.

"Everybody is sad inside. Some players, they nearly cried," said Tosun, who had been on the pitch just 10 minutes.

"He was in shock, his eyes were open so big. He was like crying, shouting and screaming.

"I just tried to hold him and speak to him. I tried to tell him to stay calm."

Everton boss Marco Silva praised his players for their response to the sickening setback.

"Our players now, they are sad, a tough moment for us in our dressing room and for Andre, but the spirit we showed after that moment on the pitch I think is a good answer for you," he said.

"And I have to be fair - of course it was a strong tackle but I am 100 per cent sure Son didn't do it with the intention to do something bad to Andre."

EVERTON: Pickford, Sidibe, Mina, Holgate, Digne, Delph, Walcott (Tosun, 68 mins), Davies (Calvert-Lewin, 83 mins), Andre Gomes (Sigurdsson, 84 mins), Iwobi, Richarlison. Unused subs: Keane, Coleman, Kean, Lossl.

Tottenham: Gazzaniga, Aurier (Foyth, 88 mins), Alderweireld, Sanchez, Davies, Sissoko, Ndombele (Lo Celso, 73 mins), Son, Eriksen (Sessegnon, 90 mins), Alli, Lucas Moura. Unused subs: Winks, Vorm, Dier, Parrott.

Referee: Martin Atkinson

Man of the Match: Dele Alli

Match Rating: 6/10

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