'It's a rule we need to accept' - Pochettino resigned to VAR after Spurs' great escape

Gabriel Jesus thought he had extended City’s league winning run to 16 games, only to see his last-gasp goal ruled out for a handball.

Mauricio Pochettino pictured during today's game.
Mauricio Pochettino pictured during today's game.

TOTTENHAM MANAGER MAURICIO Pochettino admits he is still adapting to the use of VAR in football despite seeing the technology come to his side’s rescue once again to grab a draw against Manchester City. 

Pochettino’s men faced a daunting trip to the Etihad Stadium to kick off their Premier League campaign, and unsurprisingly found it difficult to keep pace with the reigning champions. 

Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero both scored to put City up twice over the course of the 90 minutes, although on each occasion Spurs found a way back. 

Erik Lamela hit from range to cancel out Sterling’s early effort in the first half, before a header from substitute Lucas Moura tied the game at 2-2. 

But all of Spurs’ exertions could have counted for nothing were it not for VAR, in use for the first time in England’s top flight. 

Deep into injury time City thought they had grabbed victory through Gabriel Jesus’ goal, only for play to be brought back for a handball in the area during the build-up to the strike. 

The incident was uncannily akin to Tottenham’s incredible win over the Citizens in the Champions League quarter-finals, where they also benefitted from a last-gasp decision from ‘upstairs’. 

And while Pochettino is by no means a fan of the new technology, he is trying to make his peace with the advances.

We need to accept that [VAR]. I was a little bit critical of VAR but now we have to accept the rules,” the Argentine signalled after the final whistle to the BBC. 

“Now it benefits us. No doubt it won’t benefit us at other times. It’s a rule we need to accept.”

Saturday’s draw cut short a run of 15 consecutive victories for City in the Premier League, dating back to the start of February. 

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But while Pochettino was happy to see his charges take something from the game, he nevertheless wants to see improvements as the season progresses.

I’m very pleased with a point and but also knowing we need to improve. We are in a process where we need to improve in all areas and the team is going to improve step by step but we need time,” he explained.

“It was an unbelievable goal [by Lucas Moura]. Always when you play a team like Manchester City, you have to play your best.”

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