Dele Alli rescued a late point for Tottenham to deny visitors Watford a first Premier League win of the season amid video assistant referee (VAR) confusion.
With the out-of-form hosts desperately seeking a way back into the game, Hornets keeper Ben Foster flapped at an 86th-minute cross, with Alli controlling with his shoulder before turning the ball into the net.
The video assistant referee reviewed the goal and decided it was correctly awarded. The big screen, however, indicated the decision was ‘no goal’. After a spell of confusion, the goal stood.
For large periods before Alli’s intervention, it had looked as though Mauricio Pochettino’s side were going to suffer a fifth defeat in six games.
Watford, who lost Danny Welbeck to an early hamstring injury, took the lead when Abdoulaye Doucoure swept home Daryl Janmaat’s cross.
And they had a strong penalty appeal turned down by referee Chris Kavanagh – and the VAR – when Jan Vertonghen brought down Gerard Deulofeu.
But, despite coming close, their wait for a first Premier League win continues and they remain bottom.
Watford will feel hard done by after more VAR controversy.
It looked like they should have had a penalty when 1-0 up in the first half as Vertonghen’s trailing leg brought down Deulofeu in the box.
The VAR decided Kavanagh had not made a clear and obvious error in not awarding a penalty so Spurs escaped. Only one ‘subjective decision’ has been changed by the VAR in the Premier League all season – with most reversals down to factual incidents such as offside.
It then looked as if the Hornets had been given a late reprieve when the big screen said ‘no goal’ from Alli’s equaliser – although Kavanagh eventually made clear the goal had stood.
Players are not allowed to touch the ball with their arms before scoring – even accidentally – under new laws. It was decided, however, that the goal should stand with the marginal call deeming the ball had come off Alli’s shoulder.
Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores also felt the goal should have been disallowed for a Harry Kane shove on Christian Kabasele in the build-up.
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Source: Jive naija