Alexandre Lacazette’s penalty earned Arsenal local bragging rights but the Tottenham manager was not happy with the decision making
Jose Mourinho aimed his ire at the quality of officiating in the wake of Tottenham’s north London derby defeat to Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday, saying that it was “a pity” referees did not face post-match interview scrutiny over their decisions.
The Portuguese was quick to admit that his Spurs side, who took a first-half lead through Erik Lamela’s superb rabona strike before the Argentine was sent off late on as the Gunners roared back to claim victory, were under-par and acknowledged his culpability.
But Mourinho was left less than impressed by referee Michael Oliver and the VAR with their call for Alexandre Lacazette’s winning penalty just beyond the hour mark after Davinson Sanchez was ruled to have fouled the Arsenal forward.
What has Mourinho said?
“No post-match interviews for referees? That is a pity,” Mourinho told Sky Sports . “We played really bad in the first half. The 1-1 was not a fair reflection of the first half. We were poor.
“In the second half, we only had space to improve which we did. [But] then it is a question – but an impossible one as they don’t speak – for the referee Michael Oliver to answer. Probably Paul Tierney too as he was the VAR [as to why they gave the penalty].
“The game was under control in the second half so we recovered. We made changes to try and win, [but] then it is a penalty and after that a second yellow for Lamela.
“What I see from the bench is just a feeling at first. I am 40 to 50 metres away. I saw it on the iPad. Referees have a difficult job sometimes. I did not complain but when I watch back on the iPad it is what it is.
“If somebody has a different opinion [to me], it has to be one of the big Arsenal fans with a season ticket. It is the only one I accept as it is the passion speaking. Other than that I don’t accept a different view as it is obvious.
“If the players don’t do better it is because they can’t do better. I belong to the team so I am as guilty for the first half as the players but the best thing is we improve in the second half.
“Players get tired, coaches get tired, maybe referees get tired too. My record with Michael Oliver on penalties with Chelsea, United and Tottenham is unlucky.”
Mourinho’s history with Oliver
This is far from the first time that Oliver has been on the receiving end of the Portuguese’s ire.
He was the subject of a sarcastic shout-out from the manager ahead of the latter’s Europa League triumph in 2017 with Manchester United, with Oliver’s earlier dismissal of Ander Herrera two months prior having contributed to an FA Cup exit for the Red Devils.
Oliver also overturned a Harry Kane finish against Sheffield United last July near the end of the delayed 2019-20 campaign, a goal that could have helped Spurs ultimately seal a fifth-place finish and avoid a lengthy qualification campaign for this year’s Europa League.
Mourinho, who has now equalled the worst single-season record of his English top-flight career following this weekend’s result, is unlikely to hold out an olive branch to match officials any time soon, however, with the former Chelsea boss having clashed with several over his career.