Mauricio Pochettino felt sympathy towards Watford following confusion over the outcome of a VAR check for Tottenham’s late equaliser on Saturday.
The Premier League’s bottom club led 1-0 away at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for much of the contest following Abdoulaye Doucoure’s sixth-minute strike.
Watford also had a strong appeal for a penalty dismissed following a review – Gerard Deulofeu going down following a sliding challenge from Jan Vertonghen – before Spurs levelled in the closing stages.
Dele Alli capitalised on a collision between visiting goalkeeper Ben Foster and substitute Kiko Femenia, though VAR was required to see if the scorer had used his arm to control the ball before finishing with his left foot.
The decision initially flashed up as ‘no goal’ on the big screen – despite the score on display changing to 1-1 – but Pochettino confirmed the misunderstanding was down to the Premier League, rather than a Spurs employee. He was also adamant the right call was made in the end, insisting Alli had used his shoulder and not his arm.
“It’s nothing to do with us, it’s dependent on the Premier League. We don’t manage that situation,” he told the media.
“But, of course, I understand that it was a little bit confusing and it was tough for Quique [Sanchez Flores], because he thought it was no goal.
“But it’s not Tottenham’s responsibility, it’s the Premier League’s responsibility and of course like everyone, maybe the guy who pressed the button made a mistake. Everyone can make a mistake.
“The most important thing is when you check the goal, it was a goal, it came off his shoulder and I think it was legal. But I can understand that for Watford, Quique and their players, I feel so, so bad.”
FULL-TIME: @dele_official‘s late strike sees the points shared at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 19, 2019
Tottenham needed a helping hand to grab a point after another below-par display, the result following on from back-to-back defeats prior to the international break.
Pochettino hopes his squad can now begin to turn the corner following a difficult spell.
“It was so important in the way that we achieved the point in the end, the team was fighting, we showed character,” the former Southampton boss said.
“We have quality but when you are in this type of situation the most important thing is the character you need to show. Talent comes after, you need to fight and you need to run and you need to be strong in your mind.
“When everything is good you fly, when everything is going against you you need to be so strong and you spend a lot of energy because every single action you expect to score or create a chance.
“This is the first step to build our confidence again.”