Swansea City manager Carlos Carvalhal has revealed that the assistant referee apologised to him for not ruling out Fernando Llorente’s opening goal in his side’s 2-0 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at Liberty Stadium, as Mauricio Pochettino also admitted that he took Davinson Sanchez off to avoid a second yellow card.
The Premier League’s bottom-placed club were doubly unfortunate with decisions as former player Llorente was clearly offside in heading in from a free-kick after 13 minutes, before an already booked Sanchez clumsily fouled Martin Olsson in the second half but avoided another booking.
Carvalhal referred to both in his post-game press conference, and a “cleverness” from Pochettino that the Spurs boss later admitted to.
“I have just arrived in the Premier League so I won’t talk about referees,” the Swansea manager said. “I will say two points. The linesman apologised at the end of the game. I understand it was a mistake, all of us do mistakes, it’s OK.
“Second point, Pochettino is a clever manager because he substituted Sanchez in that moment. He is clever, and knows why he substituted him. These are two points I want to clarify.”
Pochettino himself clarified this, having brought on Victor Waynama for the young Colombian, but did not admit the second challenge was necessarily a bookable offence.
“Yes, I think we were all worried about the second yellow card,” the Spurs manager said. “When fans, everyone starts to put pressure on the referee, sometimes we try to avoid the problem and prefer to take off.”
Carvalhal was meanwhile proud of his how his team put it up to Spurs despite the defeat. He felt the only point where they let themselves slip was with Dele Alli’s late goal that sealed the game.
“In that one moment we lost the balance in our team in the 90 minutes, Spurs score. In the end, I’m happy with my players. Difficult situation to prepare this game, not also because the days [between games[ but also the long travel. My players were very brave, and this is good for the future.”