Jose Mourinho refuses to criticise handball chaos after late Newcastle penalty

Jose Mourinho refused to criticise the new handball law as yet another controversial call saw his Tottenham side concede a last-gasp equaliser against Newcastle.

Spurs looked on course for victory after Lucas Moura’s first Premier League goal since December had given them a deserved lead but Callum Wilson earned the visitors a 1-1 draw with a stoppage-time penalty.

The spot-kick came through a VAR intervention, referee Peter Bankes awarding the penalty as Eric Dier was penalised for handball – the latest example of the new ruling leading to a decision questioned by all involved.

Andy Carroll headed the ball against Dier’s arm at point-blank range and a lengthy check saw a potential offside against Carroll dismissed before the penalty was awarded.

Wilson was calm enough to slam home the resulting spot-kick and earn the visitors a point. But Tottenham tempers were boiling over at the final whistle and goalkeeper coach Nuno Santos was shown a red card by Bankes for his protests.

Mourinho had already disappeared down the tunnel by that point but remained silent when asked about the latest incident.

“I don’t want to comment, I just don’t want to,” he said.

“My team did a fantastic match, I cannot ask more from the players. Their goalkeeper was phenomenal. I cannot ask more from my players.”

Saturday had seen more handball controversies in the Premier League, Manchester United scoring a penalty after the final whistle to win at Brighton and Everton beating Crystal Palace through a similar incident.

According to the International Football Association Board, if the ball hits the hand of a player who has made their body “unnaturally bigger” then a foul will be awarded.

Palace boss Roy Hodgson called the decision a “nonsense” and Mourinho was keen to support his comments.

“Mr Roy is our boss,” he said. “The man with more experience, the man with the age, the man in the Premier League I always consider the eldest one, the boss, he has the status, the know-how, respected by everyone. I live on him.”

Before the incident, Spurs had dominated the game and should have been clear, Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow making a string of fine saves and Son Heung-min hitting the woodwork twice.

Son was taken off at half-time and Mourinho confirmed he is suffering from a hamstring injury in another setback for Spurs.

Newcastle may have been the beneficiaries of the latest handball call but manager Steve Bruce was happier than Mourinho to question the logic behind the new law.

Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United – Premier League – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

“Look, we’ve got away with one,” he said.

“It has fallen for us today but maybe we should all query these new rules and who actually makes them, and also the way we are now executing them as well.

“I thought VAR was coming in for clear and obvious decisions, now it is ludicrous and it ruins, for me, the spectacle of what is the Premier League.

“If we are not careful, all we are going to talk about is VAR and VAR decisions and for me that is not right.

“I don’t even think Dier is looking at the ball, so I’m not a big lover of it. We have got away with one and I should be delighted with it but I know it will bite me eventually and that is wrong.”