Mauricio Pochettino has criticised referee Michael Oliver for denying Son Heung-Min a penalty for the second time this season and booking him for diving during Sunday’s 3-1 victory over Leicester.
Son claimed he was tripped by Harry Maguire in the first half, but Oliver showed the South Korean a yellow card for simulation, before later awarding a penalty to Leicester when he adjudged that Jan Vertonghen had fouled James Maddison.
Oliver had previously waved away Son’s appeal for a spot-kick when he was felled by Sadio Mane in the 95th minute of September’s 2-1 home defeat to Liverpool.
Son has now become the fourth Spurs player to be booked for diving this season and, when Pochettino was asked whether his side are being unfairly targeted, he replied: “I don’t understand why, if that’s what you say. I think we are such nice people.
“Today, do you think that Sonny deserved to be booked? Unbelievable, unbelievable, unbelievable. When you compare the situation with the penalty [given] against us, unbelievable.
“The problem is, I told Michael Oliver [about] the situation against Liverpool in the last minute that should have been a penalty. Maybe [it should have been] 2-2, maybe 2-1, but it was a clear penalty.
“It was the same referee but now I don’t know how he has measured the situation. It’s so difficult. I’m a person that always accepts the mistake but I think it was so strange, the situation today.
“It was so clear, the position today with Sonny, the action, but it wasn’t clear the position of Maddison when he was on the floor.
“I’m more relaxed because we won the game — we got three important points — but so disappointed with the situation. Everyone wants to talk about different clubs or players but do you think we’re a team that’s trying to cheat the referee? Come on, we are the most innocent people on the pitch.”
Spurs were indebted to Hugo Lloris for their victory over Leicester, with the goalkeeper saving Jamie Vardy’s penalty and denying the Foxes an equaliser shortly before Christian Eriksen made it 2-0.
Vardy was introduced as a substitute after the spot-kick had been awarded and immediately took it with his very first touch of the match.
Asked whether he was pleased to see Vardy taking the penalty, Pochettino said: “Now, yes, but more than the mistake of whoever shot, it was a massive save from my keeper.
“I think we’re talking about one of the best keepers in the world, with a lot of experience and having played a lot of games here at Tottenham.
“He’s showing his value and of course in the decisive moments like today it was so important to help the team achieve the three points. His quality is there and we cannot doubt that.
“Sometimes you win games not playing in your best. It was an even game. The way we conceded [chances] is more than we usually concede but I think the victory’s fair.”