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Controversies spark as Tottenham Hotspurs stay undefeated

Curtis Jones, Liverpool midfielder, sent off after receiving a red-card in the 26th minute.

On Oct. 1, Tottenham Hotspur faced Liverpool FC at Tottenham Hotspur stadium, which accumulated a large audience as both teams had an undefeated season so far. After a dramatic own-goal in the 96th minute and the final score of 2:1, Tottenham continued their undefeated streak; however, controversies arose as Simon Hooper, the head referee, along with the Virtual Assistant Referees, Darren England and Dan Cook, made multiple questionable decisions that many fans viewed as unfair towards Liverpool FC.

With both teams with top world-class players, the match started off with great plays by either team. In the 26th minute, Hooper gave Liverpool midfielder Curtis Jones a yellow card after Jones fouled Tottenham’s midfielder Yves Bissouma. However, after a short VAR intervention, the card was revoked and Jones was given a direct red card. This direct red-card decision was considered excessive by many soccer experts, as Jones would not be able to play for the next three games.

Despite having one less player, Liverpool FC managed to take the lead in the game when Mohammed Salah’s through pass to Luis Diaz produced a wonderful goal in the 34th minute. Unfortunately, Hooper and the VAR team ruled the goal offside, thus disallowing it; this call was later identified as human error as Diaz was clearly behind the offside line before striking the ball past the goalkeeper. Due to this game-changing mistake, both England and Cook have been removed from the VAR team for this week.

After multiple bad calls by the referees, low-spirited Liverpool immediately conceded a goal scored by Son Heung-Min, Tottenham’s Korean striker, in the 36th minute. However, quite miraculously, Liverpool’s centre forward Cody Gakpo managed to equalise the game in the last minute of the first half with a spectacular strike. 

However, the second half of the match also marked a bad start for Liverpool. In the span of two minutes, Diogo Jota, Liverpool’s crucial winger, was given two yellow cards by the 69th minute,  leaving Liverpool with only 9 players on the field. Although the second call was correct, the first yellow card sparked yet another controversy as camera footage later showed that Jota did not make contact with Tottenham’s Destiny Udogie, who instead actually tripped on his own leg.

Now with a two-man disadvantage, Liverpool turned defensively with the substitution of multiple defensive players such as Ibrahima Konaté. Although the match seemed like a draw for both teams, Tottenham right-back Pedro Porro’s cross bounced off of Liverpool centre-back Joël Matip’s legs and past Liverpool goalkeeper Allison Becker in the 96th minute. With only 20 seconds left on the clock, Tottenham soon after celebrated their dramatic 2:1 victory. 

“The two red cards for Liverpool were the main reason why they lost the game,” Sungwook Kim (11), varsity soccer player, said.“There is no doubt that the calls made in the game were quite controversial. Regardless of the calls, however, Tottenham’s class performance in the game deserved a win.”

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About the Contributor
Waan Choi
Waan Choi, Copy Editor
Waan is a junior copy editor for the Tiger Times Online team. He mainly enjoys writing articles about sports and Korean news. He loves watching the Premier League, listening to music, and playing soccer. 

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