Antonio Conte was a picture of calm, until Var intervened

Soccer Football – Champions League – Group D – Tottenham Hotspur v Sporting CP – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Great Britain – October 26, 2022 Antonio Conte, manager of Tottenham Hotspur, is shown a red card by referee Danny Makkelie – REUTERS

“Check yourself,” were the words that rang through powerful speakers after the final whistle, a message delivered via a 15-year-old pop song. By now it was too late for Antonio Conte, who went down to the gallery in recovery time after being expelled. Maybe he should start listening to MGMT’s Kids before games.

He spent much of this slow 1-1 draw in a state of unusual impassiveness, perhaps acknowledging that when a team looks as shaky as his Spurs is not the time for managerial histrionics. They struggled horribly in the first half against Sporting Lisbon, 1-0 down at half-time.

The boos came after a hoof from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg that went straight into the hands of Sporting goalkeeper Adan, then again after a promising free kick was wasted and ended with Son Heung-min falling. It seemed that he would have preferred to do another shift of South Korean military service.

Everything changes in the second half. Sports manager Ruben Amorim was often unable to watch, crouched in a kind of depressed Thinker pose, his eyes fixed on the Desso GrassMaster hybrid grass.

Amorim - Andrew Couldridge

Amorim – Andrew Couldridge

The Spurs struggled to return to parity, then appeared to win it to death when the entire team apart from Hugo Lloris poured forward, knowing it would be their last bout. Harry Kane scored and collapsed the house.

Here is the Count we had anticipated, the man whose growl expected before each game is always in double figures. As he celebrated Kane’s apparent winner, he dived directly into his assistant’s chest, his whole body looking joyously liberated.

Then the stadium fell into a vacuum. Despite all the incredibly boring Var controversies and the incredibly boring gripes on such controversies, there’s no denying that the Var has added a new level of highly packaged drama to football.

This may not be to your taste, just as many of us would rather eat a glass than watch Love Island, but it’s a novel. After the stadium settled down it became clear that the players had been standing still for too long. Something had happened. The Var check was announced in groans. Then during a long wait for closure (where do they communicate with? Jupiter?) That new noise was heard, the tense and prolonged Var control noise. A kind of high-pitched buzz that is partly hope, partly terror, partly mania .

When it finally came, the decision didn’t go in Tottenham’s favor. Emerson Royal was adjudged to be offside when he returned for Kane. Conte shouted at the match officials, violated the sacred limits of his technical area, entered the field furious. He was sent off, becoming the only person shown a red card in both the Premier League and Champions League this season. Not bad for a manager.

Harry Kane scores - Charlotte Wilson / Offside

Harry Kane scores – Charlotte Wilson / Offside

Conte red card - DANIEL HAMBURY / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

Conte red card – DANIEL HAMBURY / EPA-EFE / Shutterstock

At least he didn’t miss him much. The ball remained in play for 0.1 seconds after Sporting took the resulting free kick. At the conclusion of the game, Eric Dier barked at the useless referee Danny Makkelie: “He went backwards”, referring to Royal’s header at Kane. Nobody knows the rules of football, not really. They are passed down from generation to generation in a kind of hazy mess of clichés, a history drunk with laws and regulations.

The direction in which the ball travels has never been relevant to the offside, it is the position of the player receiving the pass that counts, his whole body must be behind it when it is played. Kane’s may not have been, but it was irrelevant if the offense was really Royal’s. We may never know. A mystery wrapped in an enigma wrapped in an assistant’s flag.

After the game Conte answered a question for a long time, then walked out of his own press conference before saying or doing something else he would regret. Sports manager Amorim spoke excellent, albeit slightly contradictory, English. When asked what he thought of Var, he accidentally summed it up perfectly. “I like it because it’s right. Most of the time. I know there are a lot of problems sometimes. But that’s okay for me ”.

Conte: ‘I don’t see honesty’

By Sam Wallace

Antonio Conte launched a ferocious attack on refereeing standard in the Champions League, wondering if Uefa executives were “honest” after his team was denied a winner in injury time and the Italian was sent off later.

Conte would later claim that the Var leaders had made a mistake. In subsequent protests he was expelled, but it was his comments on UEFA referees that could attract disciplinary action.

Conte will be disqualified from the sideline when Spurs face Marseille on Tuesday. A draw will be enough to qualify for Group D, so balanced that all four, including Eintracht Frankfurt and Sporting, can reach the round of 16 by winning the final matchday. Rodrigo Bentancur scored a second-half draw for Spurs after former player Marcus Edwards put Sporting ahead.

Conte in the post-match press conference said: “Sometimes you can accept this situation. I don’t see honesty in this kind of situation [this game]. When I don’t see this, I get really, really angry.

He told BT Sport at the time of the expulsion: “The red card – all people come in after the decision not to allow and then they come to give me a red card because I’m the most popular person on the pitch.”

Speaking about the red card at the press conference he said: “I think there are times when maybe you can be a little smart and understand that he just canceled a fair goal because the goal was fair. The ball is in front of Kane and then the Var – you know I don’t comment on the referee’s decision – but with the Var, between the Premier League and the Champions League, we are not so lucky. We are now the only team that has repeated a penalty [had to take a penalty twice, when Leicester retook their spot-kick]. “

He added: I think we’re not that lucky with the Var. It creates a lot of damage. I’d like to see if they can make this kind of decision with an important team in an important match. I would like to see if Var is brave enough to make that decision. Because the ball is in front of Kane. I’m sorry but I’m really angry. “

Speaking to BT Sport he previously questioned the accuracy of the lines drawn on the screen by Var officials. He said: “I think the ball was in front of Kane and the goal is a goal. I don’t understand the line they put up [on the screen]. It is very difficult to comment on this decision. Var is doing a lot of damage. I want to see if in another stadium of a great team they are ready to ban this type of goal. I would like to know this.

“Lots of injustices. I don’t like this kind of situation. I don’t see positive things. The second half was positive and we played with great intensity. We deserved to win but we know what happened. I don’t understand why we need to get something out of the next game when we can. finish the qualification in this match. When you invent this kind of situation, you create a lot of damage to the club. Also, problems. “

Matt Doherty said the Spurs players did not understand the decision. He said, “I think you can see from the cheers that we thought we had won him. I don’t really know what happened in the end. I thought that because he went backwards and hit a defender it was a different phase of play. I’ll have to. take a look at the rules Some of us don’t have a clue what happened.

“If we are honest we didn’t play very well. They canceled us in the first half and we deserved to be ahead. We are first in the group. That’s not how we wanted the evening to go but it’s still in our hands.”

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