Tottenham Hotspur saw off Leicester City 3-1 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday afternoon, but referee Michael Oliver’s officiating came under scrutiny from manager Mauricio Pochettino post-game.
Spurs forward Heung-min Son was booked for diving in the opposition box with the scores still goalless, while James Maddison was awarded a penalty for something very similar afterwards.
The South Korean felt he should have been awarded a penalty and was in disbelief for being booked, but former Premier League ref Mark Clattenburg believes Oliver was right to book Son, and that Maddison should also have been given a yellow card for simulation.
“Both Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City were guilty of diving to try to win penalties at Wembley. Michael Oliver correctly booked Son Heung-min for a dive in the first half after the Tottenham forward had thrown himself over Harry Maguire’s planted leg,” Clattenburg told Sportsmail.
“James Maddison can count himself fortunate not to have received the same punishment in the second half after the Leicester midfielder went to ground under very little contact from Jan Vertonghen. With VAR, Oliver would have been able to see a replay. It would have shown him that Maddison had collapsed his legs before any challenge from the Spurs defender.
“Given Maddison was sent off for diving at Brighton in November, I am surprised he risked being caught out again.”
Jamie Vardy missed Leicester’s spotkick and the chance to draw his side level with the scores still at 1-0.
Christian Eriksen doubled the hosts’ advantage three minutes later, and Tottenham should have had nothing much to complain about after securing a win and remaining firmly in the title race.
With VAR in place, though, things would have been much more different for both sides and the outcome of the game.
From the look of things, Tottenham, and maybe Leicester can’t wait for next season when the Video Assistant Referee system kicks off, and it’ll be interesting to see how things go then and going forward.