Former Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Paul Robinson has criticised Eric Dier for the way he defended the one vs one situation against Paul Pogba, which led to Manchester United being awared a penalty.
Spurs took the lead midway through the first half and Jose Mourinho’s game plan of defending with a low block and hitting United on the counter attack seemed to be working fine.
However, with ten minutes left on the clock, Pogba went past Dier and appeared to be bundled to the ground inside the box by the England international.
The referee awarded the away side a spot-kick which was dispatched with ease by Bruno Fernandes.
Replays showed that the penalty award was rather soft, and Mourinho was critical of VAR for not overturning the decision (Football.London).
In fact, the Spurs boss insisted that Dier did nothing wrong and described the 26-year-old’s performance as ‘perfect’.
However, Robinson feels that Dier should not have allowed Pogba to get on the wrong side of him.
Although he agreed that the penalty award was soft, he admitted he understood why VAR did not overturn the decision.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former England number one said: “It is poor defending from Eric Dier.
“He has let Pogba get the wrong side of him and then leaned on him. It has given the referee the option to give a penalty.
“Tottenham will think it is soft but Eric Dier has done enough.
“It has gone to VAR but there is not enough evidence to overrule it even though it is really soft.
“You can see why the ref has given it and it has to be clear and obvious to overturn it. He did slightly push him.
“On the flip side if it had not been given as a penalty, VAR would not have overturned it. It has to be fact to overturn it.
“But it is bad defending from Eric Dier in the first place.”
Spurs Web Opinion
I agree with Robinson’s assessment that while the penalty was soft, it was not a clear and obvious error like the one that United were awarded in stoppage time. So, it was one of those 50-50 calls that VAR was not going to overturn despite what the referee had ruled.
Dier has to take some blame for exposing himself the way he did against Pogba and then giving him the chance to go down by trying to win the ball from the wrong side. However, barring that one moment, it was a pretty impressive display from Dier overall.
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