Mauricio Pochettino left fuming with referee decisions as Spurs title bid dented by Burnley

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Tottenham Hotspur's English striker Harry Kane reacts after losing the English Premier League football match between Burnley and Tottenham Hotspur at Turf Moor. (AFP)
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Burnley's Chris Wood celebrates scoring their first goal. (Action Images via Reuters)
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Burnley's Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring their second goal. (Action Images via Reuters)
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Burnley's Ashley Barnes celebrates scoring their second goal with team mates in front of fans. (Reuters)
Updated 23 February 2019
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Mauricio Pochettino left fuming with referee decisions as Spurs title bid dented by Burnley

LONDON: Mauricio Pochettino admitted his emotions got the better of him after Tottenham’s Premier League title challenge suffered a crushing blow in a controversial 2-1 defeat against Burnley on Saturday.
A win at Turf Moor would have put Pochettino’s side within two points of joint-leaders Manchester City and Liverpool. But they squandered the chance to stay in the title race with a sloppy display that saw Chris Wood put Burnley ahead after half-time.
There was controversy about Wood’s goal as it came from a corner that Tottenham felt should not have been given.
But Pochettino’s men had a break of their own when Kane, back after missing seven games with an ankle injury, capitalized on a throw-in that was taken in the wrong place.
At that stage, Tottenham looked poised to push on for a fifth successive league victory.
However, they paid the price for sloppy defending as Barnes struck with seven minutes left to extend Burnley’s unbeaten league run to eight matches.
Pochettino was fuming at full-time, confronting referee Mike Dean and his assistants on the pitch in a lengthy rant that showed his frustration at both Burnley’s first goal and Tottenham’s missed opportunity.
Footage seemed to show Pochettino and his assistant Jesus Perez reacting to something said to him by Dean and the Argentine reportedly carried on his finger-pointing protest in the tunnel.
But Pochettino refused to elaborate on the row, instead admitting his out of character complaints were sparked by the tension of the title race.
“It was nothing. What happened on the pitch happened on the pitch. There is nothing to say. We don’t deserve the defeat but that’s football,” he said.
“I believe before the game that if you want to be a contender you need three points. The emotions, sometimes we find answers and excuses to try to justify the defeat.
“It’s not normal how I behave. Maybe it’s because I knew before the game and after the game that it is going to be difficult to be a contender without three points.”
Dean could be seen mouth “go away” as Pochettino stood inches from his face in an incident that is certain to be included in the referee’s report and may earn the Tottenham boss a touchline ban.
“It is a situation that everyone on the touchline will complain, complain and complain. Sometimes we see things differently and try to back our player,” Pochettino added.
“I will accept everything that happens (with a potential punishment). Hopefully it is not going further.”
It was a bitter blow for third placed Tottenham, who will be eight points off top spot if second placed Liverpool, currently level on points with City, win at Manchester United on Sunday.
“Obviously it is a big disappointment. Today was a good opportunity for us and we missed it. It was a tough game. We expected a battle,” Spurs captain Hugo Lloris said.
“We conceded the first goal and it makes things harder. Especially when you concede a corner that didn’t exist. It is part of the game.”
Burnley goalscorer Ashley Barnes was delighted to have got the three points, however, saying: “I thought we had it then we gave them a sloppy goal from a throw-in. We needed to be alive and we switched off but for us to keep going and get the result was massive.
“They are top-quality players so we just had to concentrate on ourselves. We made it hard for them and that was what the gameplan was.
“We are getting back to ourselves now. We need to keep being resilient and compact. That’s what we did.”
The win saw the Clarets notch up an eighth game in a row unbeaten, and it marked Burnley’s best top-flight run since 1966. It was also a victory that pleased boss Sean Dyche.
“It was a thorough performance and a good win. We know there’s a lot of work to be done but they’re certainly putting in the work.
“We’re not a side who can slick it around like Man City but we have very good players. We waned to get in behind them. I thought our front two were outstanding.”


Jurgen Klopp tells out-of-form Mohamed Salah to use teammate Sadio Mane as inspiration

Updated 19 min 38 sec ago
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Jurgen Klopp tells out-of-form Mohamed Salah to use teammate Sadio Mane as inspiration

  • Egyptian ace hasn't scored for seven matches, his worst run since 2015.
  • Klopp cool over form but tells star man Mane is the one to learn from.

LIVERPOOL: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Mohamed Salah should use Sadio Mane as inspiration as the Egypt star looks to hit peak form after an inconsistent season.
Salah scored 44 times in his debut season with Liverpool, but his second campaign has not been so smooth.
Although Salah has 20 goals in the current campaign, his goalless run of seven matches is the longest he has experienced since a 10-game streak for Roma in 2015-16.
That is a concern, with Liverpool chasing their first top-flight title since 1990 and also through to the Champions League quarterfinals.
Fortunately for Liverpool, Senegal winger Mane is in fine form and has moved level on 20 goals with Salah, after netting 11 in as many games.
Mane had gone goalless in eight outings in November and December during a spell of 17 matches in which he scored just three times.
Having seen Mane work through his drought successfully, Klopp believes Salah will soon see his luck change in front of goal as well.
“Sadio played pretty much always like this but now he is always in the right spot in the right moment. In football it’s sometimes like this,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website.
“He is in a really good moment, of course. The only thing he did when he was not always in the right spot was work and work and work.
“That’s exactly what Mo has to do, exactly the same, just work, do the right things and it will come again.
“He’s just rather unlucky, where Sadio is lucky in the moment — he is in brilliant shape, that’s true.
“But then, he is in the right shape and maybe a yard away from him is Mo, but somebody else scored. That’s how it is, all good.”