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Mauricio Pochettino: “I think it was a penalty!”

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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino felt his side deserved a penalty when Kyle Walker’s arm made contact with the ball during their 1-0 defeat to Manchester City.

Spurs’ top-four Premier League hopes took a big blow this afternoon at the Etihad Stadium, where 18-year-old Phil Foden’s fifth-minute header handed City all three points.

It means that Pochettino’s men could end up outside of the Champions League spots come Monday night depending on the outcome of Arsenal and Chelsea’s games.

But Spurs gave City a good run for their money and were, perhaps, unlucky not to grab an equaliser after keeper Ederson denied Son Heung-Min, Christian Eriksen and Lucas Moura.

Although Pochettino was left to rue referee Michael Oliver’s decision to not award his side a penalty when Walker handled the ball with his arm in the area during the second half.

Dele Alli controlled Toby Alderweireld’s cross-field pass with his chest in preparation to shoot. But the ball made contact with Walker’s arm as it reached the ground and went out for a corner.

With no VAR to assist, Oliver waived away Alli’s penalty appeal.

In a post-match interview with beIN SPORTS, a frustrated Pochettino declared that “all of humanity” could see Olivier’s error.

“I thought it was a penalty but we didn’t get it. In that action, it is not that confusing. Michael Oliver was standing behind watching,” said the Argentine, as quoted by Goal.

“When it is not clear, it is not clear, but this action is more than clear. Both players fighting for the ball inside the box and Michael Oliver was in a fantastic position to see what was going on there.

“For me and maybe not for Manchester City but for me and for the rest of humanity, I think it was a penalty.”

However, Pochettino appeared to calm down later on in a press conference and downplayed his previous comments.

Instead, the 47-year-old accepted Olivier’s decision to not give Spurs a penalty.

“I’ve nothing to say [about the decision]. It’s always about the interpretation of the referee,” he said.

“For sure if I watched the match from the referee’s viewpoint I could have a better idea of what happened.

“Nothing to say and nothing to complain. That’s football. Sometimes it’s for you and sometimes it’s against you.

“We trust in the referees and their decisions much better than any system. Always I’m going to defend and back the decision of the referee.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 20: Dele Alli of Tottenham Hotspur battles for possession with Kyle Walker of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on April 20, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)