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Howard Webb admits yet another VAR mistake as decision costs Brighton three points against Tottenham

The decision was made not to award Mitoma a penalty in the second half

Referee chief Howard Webb has been in touch with Brighton to apologise for a mistake that could well have cost them a massive three points in their race for European football, it has been revealed.

The Seagulls travelled to north London to take on Tottenham knowing that a win would take them to within a point of the Lilywhites and fifth place as they look to bring European football to the South Coast for the first time in the club’s history.

And, with the game tied at 1-1, they seemed set to be handed a stonewall penalty when a replay showed that Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had stood on Kaoru Mitoma’s foot inside the penalty area, only for both the referee and VAR to wave away the claims.

It was one of several bizarre decisions, with a seemingly blatant shirt-pull on Lewis Dunk also going unpunished minutes later and Brighton having a goal ruled out, before Tottenham went up the other end and found an undeserved winner through Harry Kane to lift themselves seven points clear of the Seagulls and keep in touch with Manchester United and Newcastle in the top four race.

And on Sunday morning, it was once again announced that Howard Webb was apologising for the incompetence of his VAR staff, having had to sack Lee Mason after his failure to draw the offside lines for Arsenal’s clash with Brentford, which ended all square in February.

It remains to be seen what sort of punishment is doled out for Michael Salisbury, the latest to misuse the technology available to him, with John Brooks having been suspended for a week after a similar incident also involving Brighton earlier in the season.

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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