Mauricio Pochettino has backed right-back Serge Aurier after the Ivorian conceded a penalty during Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool.
Spurs took the lead in the first minute at Anfield as Harry Kane headed home a deflected Heung-min Son shot, which rebounded off the crossbar and back into play, but were unable to hold onto their lead in the second half.
Did Aurier cost Spurs the game? Five things to know…
- Kane gave Spurs the lead in the first minute at Anfield.
- But Jordan Henderson levelled the scores after half-time before Mohamed Salah scored a penalty.
- That penalty was given when Aurier kicked Sadio Mane in the back of the leg when trying to clear the ball.
- Pochettino has backed Aurier and believes the penalty call was a harsh one.
- Aurier has conceded more fouls per 90 minutes (1.7) in the Premier League than any other Spurs defender since he joined the club.
Henderson equalised for Jurgen Klopp’s men shortly after half-time before Aurier kicked Mane’s leg while trying to clear the ball – Mohamed Salah converted the resulting spot-kick to maintain Liverpool’s six-point league at the top of the Premier League table.
This is the latest instalment in what has been a tough time at Spurs for Aurier, but Pochettino has offered his backing to the Ivory Coast international, insisting he is happy with his contribution to the cause.
“I am happy with him,” Pochettino told reporters of Aurier after the match.
“Of course, today he’s not happy and nobody would be happy, it’s normal when you give away a penalty. Of course, I understand that as well as anyone. You feel like you’re guilty but it’s not like this.
“[I have] nothing to say about him or the squad. I am behind our squad, supporting them. We have 29 players, they will all have the opportunity to play and nothing to say. After five years and a half at Tottenham, it is a time to all be together and show our support.”
Pochettino: It’s a very soft penalty
Pochettino maintains that referee Anthony Taylor’s decision was questionable and that if a penalty needed to be given, it was a “very soft” infringement.
“It’s an action that, I don’t want to complain, I need to accept the decision of the referee and the VAR,” he added.
“Technically maybe it’s a penalty because there’s a contact but to be honest, the ball is going away.
“It’s an action that you know is very soft. It’s a penalty and we need to accept it’s the decision of the referee or the VAR. Of course, nothing to say.”