Dele Alli was lucky to have escaped a serious injury from a Raheem Sterling tackle when Tottenham Hotspur beat Manchester City 2-0 last Sunday, Jose Mourinho has said while admitting his behaviour during the match saw him go viral “for the wrong reasons”.
It was one of several refereeing decisions to grate on Mourinho during the gripping encounter, with the use of VAR once again at the centre of post-match discussions.
But Alli was fit enough to face Southampton on Wednesday. “No, it’s not as bad as we first thought,” Mourinho told reporters.
“It’s just a question of being a little bit lucky, or unlucky. You need a little bit of luck. Dele Alli was very lucky.
“Did Sterling want to injure him? I don’t think so, I don’t believe that he wanted to hurt Alli. So, respect to Sterling, I have no problem at all.
“But the intention does not count. What counts is the action. It is a red card.”
Mourinho was particularly animated on the touchline against City, with footage of one action going viral on social media – the clip showing him sprinting to the fourth official to complain about a decision in the aftermath of Hugo Lloris’ penalty save.
The Portuguese coach accepts he may have gone too far with his reaction, but explained his frustration stemmed from what he feels is a misuse of VAR.
“[I went viral] in a funny way, but not in a good way, but I say in a funny way,” he said.
“I think the fact that now it is allowed to have the screen in front of us… I think it’s not good for the emotions, for our emotions, because we watch and we watch exactly the same as the VAR [official] is watching, decisions the referees don’t see as well as we do.
“That’s because the referees, they are on the pitch and, as I was saying the other day, it is 200 miles per hour and very difficult for them, and sometimes they don’t see things the same way we do.