‘Nearly cost me’: VAR leaves Ange fuming as rival star gives Spurs boss fresh injury headache

Tottenham Hotspur boss Ange Postecoglou bemoaned VAR’s decision to let Brighton skipper Lewis Dunk off with a yellow card after his horror challenge on Dejan Kulusevski.

With Brighton up 4-1 and into the final 10 minutes of regular time, Dunk flew into a tackle on Tottenham’s Swedish star.

Despite winning the ball, Dunk’s studs went into Kulusevski’s ankle and the challenge left the Tottenham star writhing in pain.

Thankfully for Postecoglou, Kulusevski was able to return to the field after receiving medical treatment.

Although Kulusevski was relatively unharmed by Dunk’s bruising challenge — which also forced him out of Brighton’s next match due to suspension — Postecoglou was left fuming at VAR’s inactivity.

When asked about VAR’s decision to award a penalty in the first half thanks to Kulusevski’s shirt-pull on Danny Welbeck, Postecoglou took aim at the time it took to give a penalty with a tongue-in-cheek response.

And he most certainly didn’t forget about Dunk’s tackle, either.

“It (Kulusevski’s foul on Welbeck) was obviously clear and obvious because it only took him (referee Jarred Gillett) three minutes to see it on the screen and VAR picked up everything today except the one tackle which nearly cost me another player,” Postecoglou said in his post-match press conference.

“So that’s their decisions.”

Had Kulusevski come off worse for wear, it would have robbed Postecoglou of yet another star player in an already-thin squad.

The Australian boss was once again forced to field a defensive backline comprised of four natural fullbacks after star centre back Cristian Romero suffered a hamstring strain.

Postecoglou expects Romero to miss “probably four or five weeks”, adding to Tottenham’s well-documented injury woes across the squad.

With Romero out injured, it leaves Postecoglou without yet another first-team figure as Micky van de Ven, James Maddison, Ryan Sessegnon, Ivan Perisic and Rodrigo Bentancur all remain sidelined through injury while Yves Bissouma is suspended after his red card against Nottingham Forest.

Although the likes of Van de Ven and Maddison could return in January, it’s unlikely to stop Postecoglou from seeking out reinforcements in the transfer window to add to his threadbare squad.


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