Jan Vertonghen on VAR, why Spurs should have had a penalty and clean sheets

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen has claimed that VAR has taken a lot out of football since it was introduced to the game.

Vertonghen was part of the Spurs side which can feel aggrieved regarding the decision which saw Serge Aurier denied a goal which would have doubled their lead against Leicester City.

Following a VAR review, it was deemed that Heung-min Son was fractionally offside and the decision proved costly with the Foxes punishing the visitors by finding the back of the net twice to take the victory.

The Belgian admitted that he backs the introduction of the technology whilst also pointing out that a decision in the first half went in their favour when Wilfred Ndidi’s effort was chalked off when he was clearly offside after reacting quickest to Paulo Gazzaniga’s fumbled save.

The 32-year-old told the Evening Standard: “Obviously you have to trust the VAR to make the right decision.

“It went our way in the first half [when Leicester had a Wilfred Ndidi goal ruled out for offside], their way in the second. It makes football a different game, it takes a lot out of it. It’s for the good but it has changed a lot.”

Vertonghen also pointed out how VAR went to Tottenham’s advantage last season in the Champions League when Raheem Sterling thought he had scored a late winner only for it to be discovered that Christian Eriksen’s back pass struck Bernardo Silva’s leg before it reached Sergio Aguero, who was in an offside position

“It’s painful,” Vertonghen added. “City probably felt the same in the quarter final of the Champions League. It was the same distance [as Son’s].

“It was tough because I thought we were doing well, we thought we were going 2-0 up. We were defending well. We didn’t create too many chances but we felt comfortable.

“The game goes on. It takes a long time to make these decisions. I think we also deserved a penalty in the first half on Danny Rose – it looked like one. Whatever. It’s tough when it goes against you and good when it goes for you.

“If you’re [leading] 1-0 and the way we were playing – we felt good, we were dominating – then maybe you should put the game in the bag,” he continued. “We need to keep clean sheets as well.

“We didn’t give them many chances. Leicester are a very, very good team. They’ll challenge for the top places. They’ve got lots of quality and we dominated.

“Coming from Olympiacos, which wasn’t good, and bouncing back in this way until the disallowed goal is something to look at in a positive way.”

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