Belfast Telegraph

We don't try to cheat refs, says Pochettino

Tottenham 3 Leicester City 1

Son Heung-Min
Son Heung-Min

By Jonathan Veal

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was left perplexed by Michael Oliver's decision to book Son Heung-min for diving in his side's 3-1 win over Leicester.

Son was booked in the first half after going down in the area under a challenge from Harry Maguire, becoming the fourth Spurs player to be yellow-carded for simulation this season.

The South Korean went on to get on the scoresheet at Wembley, putting the finishing touches on a win that had been set up by Davinson Sanchez and Christian Eriksen goals.

Oliver did point to the spot when he awarded Leicester a penalty, which Jamie Vardy missed with his first kick after coming on as a substitute immediately before, though the striker did get on the scoresheet later on.

It was the second time Oliver has denied Son a penalty at Wembley this season after he chose not to award a spot-kick in the final moments of Liverpool's 2-1 win in September.

Pochettino has not forgotten that incident and was incredulous in his response to yesterday's re-run.

"Today do you think that Sonny deserved to be booked? Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable.

"When you compare the situation with the penalty against us, unbelievable. The problem is, I told Michael Oliver, the situation of Liverpool in the last minute that should be a penalty, but it was a clear penalty.

"It was the same referee but now I don't know how he has measured the situation. It is so difficult.

"I am a person that always accepts the mistake but I think it was so strange the situation today.

"I am more relaxed now because we won the game, three important points we got, but so disappointed with the situation because everyone wants to talk about different clubs or players, but do you think we are a team that is trying to cheat the referee? Come on, we are the most innocent people on the pitch."

The win keeps Tottenham in the Premier League title race, five points off the top, after their 20th win of the season.

Their attention now turns to the Champions League, where they host Borussia Dortmund in the last 16 on Wednesday.

Leicester, who missed good chances at a steady rate through the game, have now lost five of their last six games in all competitions as the pressure grows on Claude Puel.

Puel opted to leave Vardy on the bench, but the former England striker came on to take Leicester's penalty after James Maddison was fouled.

His first kick of the match was brilliantly saved by Hugo Lloris, but Puel had no issue with Vardy taking it.

"He was ready to come on the pitch and I gave him the opportunity to take the penalty," the Frenchman said.

TOTTENHAM: Lloris, Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose (Walker-Peters, 88 mins), Winks, Sissoko, Skipp (Alderweireld, 71 mins), Eriksen, Son, Llorente (Wanyama, 80 mins). Unused subs: Foyth, Gazzaniga, Aurier, Lucas Moura.

Leicester: Schmeichel, Ricardo Pereira, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Ndidi, Ghezzal (Iheanacho, 72 mins), Tielemans, Maddison, Barnes (Okazaki, 88 mins), Gray (Vardy, 59 mins). Unused subs: Simpson, Morgan, Ward, Choudhury.

Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

Man of the match: Moussa Sissoko

Match rating: 7/10

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