Jose Mourinho claimed that fans would fall in love with football after VAR fell victim to a controversial goal reversal in a 3–1 defeat against Sheffield United on Thursday. United took the lead through Sander Burge’s first half strike at Brandon Lane. But Tottenham were denied an equalizer moments later when Harry Kane’s goal was chased by VAR for a questionable handball against Lucas Moura. Lucas appeared to hit his ball into the build-up for Kane’s strike and Tottenham manager Mourinho angrily complained on the touchline.
Lys Mousset and Oli McBurnie rubbed salt in Mourinho’s wounds, as both netted for United after the interval.
Kane’s final minute goal was no consolation for Tottenham, who are now in grave danger of missing out on next season’s Champions League.
Being too callable by VAR in a Premier League season, Mourinho said he fears for the future of football if the system is not addressed.
“I can only say that usually I’m a professional guy on the bench in these moments, I never complain on the man with the whistle because it’s not the referee.”
“This is the beginning of everything. I think the referee should always be the man on the pitch and the people in the office should just support and assist.”
“He is not like that. This referee who is not very good on the pitch, we cannot expect that he is good in the office.
“We’re going in a direction that’s really bad for the beautiful game, the sport that everyone loved.”
Supporting Mourinho, joint manager Chris Wilder said: “I have received a list of decisions that have gone against us. We are the unofficial champions of Europe, based on the decisions of the VAR running against us.
“I can understand their manager’s frustrations. I’ll be super frustrated. It’s a bullshit rule, it wasn’t intentional.”
Tottenham lost nine points behind Chelsea in fourth and Manchester United in the seventh after finishing fifth in the first defeat.
Mourinho said, “We have to be mentally strong to deal with what happened during the game. We can’t die mentally after Michael Oliver’s decision,” Mourinho said.
“We have to be strong with 50 minutes to go. My criticism for my team in the second half.”
The Blade, who won five matches for the first time since The Hetus, kept alive their hopes of qualifying for European action by finishing seventh, two points above Tottenham.
Mourinho’s headache started when Burge put United in the 31st minute.
After spreading the ball over to Chris Basham, Bergen broke into the Tottenham area, collected a return pass and drilled his low shot into the far corner.
Tottenham thought they had equalized two minutes later as Lucas went ahead and despite being pushed managed to throw the ball to Kane, who cut inside the house and fired.
Kane’s celebrations came to an end when VAR declined a goal for a handball by Maura, who had pressured the ball into his arm under pressure from several United players.
The already booked United midfielder Ollie Norwood did not improve Mourinho’s mood, avoiding Son Hyung-min with a red card to hit the elbow.
Ben Osbourne was making his first Premier League debut and the United midfielder had a key role in the 69th minute.
Breaking into the area, Osborne’s Deft Pass ejected Enda Stevens and paid for the unmarked Mousset to move home from close-range for his first goal since December.