Spurs slump, Huddersfield closer to relegation

Mauricio Pochettino launched a furious rant at referee Mike Dean after Tottenham’s Premier League title challenge suffered a crushing blow in a controversial 2-1 defeat against Burnley, while Huddersfield were pushed closer to relegation by their 2-0 loss at Newcastle on Saturday.

Pochettino’s side would have moved within two points of leaders Manchester City with a win at Turf Moor.

But they squandered the chance to enhance their title prospects with a sloppy display that saw Chris Wood put Burnley ahead after halftime.

There was controversy about Wood’s goal as it came from a corner which Tottenham felt shouldn’t have been given.

But Pochettino’s men had a break of their own when Kane, back after missing seven games with an ankle injury, capitalised on a throw-in that was taken in the wrong place.

At that stage, Tottenham looked poised to push on for a fifth successive league victory.

However, they paid the price for sloppy defending as Barnes struck with seven minutes left to extend Burnley’s unbeaten league run to eight matches.

It was a bitter blow for third placed Tottenham, who will be eight points off top spot if second placed Liverpool, currently level on points with City, win at Manchester United on Sunday.

Pochettino was fuming at fulltime, confronting Dean and his assistants on the pitch in a lengthy rant that highlighted his frustration.

Television pictures seemed to show Pochettino and his assistant Jesus Perez reacting to something said to him by Dean and the Argentine reportedly carried on his finger-pointing protest in the tunnel.

But Pochettino refused to elaborate on the row, instead admitting his out of character complaints were sparked by the tension of the title race.

“If we didn’t win, we cannot think now of being a real contender. It is a massive opportunity lost for us,” Pochettino said

“When you feel so disappointed and upset, you make some mistakes. We made some mistakes on the pitch and I made some mistakes afterwards on the pitch.”

‘CROSSED CABLES INSIDE MY BRAIN’

The incident is certain to be included in the referee’s report and may earn the Tottenham boss a touchline ban.

“There were crossed cables inside my brain. It was weird and strange and has not happened before in 10 years,” Pochettino added.

“Some stupid things happen and you react. I was never out of control but now I need to find the result.”

Asked if he would apologise to Dean, Pochettino added: “Yes, maybe, good point. Maybe I go.”

At St James’ Park, bottom of the table Huddersfield’s plight worsened when defender Tommy Smith was sent off for a crude lunge on Miguel Almiron in the 20th minute.

Newcastle made their numerical advantage pay off just seconds after the interval, Venezuela striker Salomon Rondon converting DeAndre Yedlin’s cross.

Ayoze Perez doubled Newcastle’s lead in the 52nd minute with a close-range finish from Rondon’s flick, moving the Magpies four points clear of the bottom three and leaving Huddersfield 14 points from safety.

Josh King went from hero to villain as Bournemouth drew 1-1 with Wolves at Dean Court.

Bournemouth took the lead through King’s 14th minute spot kick after he tumbled theatrically under pressure from Joao Moutinho.

Raul Jimenez equalised for Wolves with an 83rd minute effort from the spot following a dubious handball decision by referee Roger East.

Then King fired wide moments later when East gave Bournemouth another controversial penalty after Ryan Fraser appeared to be fouled outside the area.

Crystal Palace won 4-1 at Leicester on a memorable day for Roy Hodgson, who became the Premier League’s oldest ever manager at 71 years and 199 days.

Hodgson’s side struck in the 40th minute when on-loan Chelsea forward Michy Batshuayi turned in James McArthur’s shot.

Jonny Evans equalised for Leicester in the 64th minute, but Wilfried Zaha, back from suspension, restored Palace’s lead six minutes later from McArthur’s cross.

Luka Milivojevic scored an 81st minute penalty after Evans fouled Jeffrey Schlupp before Zaha’s stoppage-time second added to the pressure on Leicester boss Claude Puel.

Source: AFP

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