Should Man City have beaten Tottenham?
In the end, it finished Man City 2 – Tottenham 2.
That means that the Sky Blues are now two points behind Liverpool and Arsenal in the Premier League table.
A Lucas Moura header earned Spurs a share of the spoils at the Etihad Stadium.
Prior to that, Erik Lamela had cancelled out Raheem Sterling’s opener for City.
Sergio Aguero put the Sky Blues ahead at the break with a deft finish from a Kevin De Bruyne cross.
Yet, the biggest talking point came at the death.
Gabriel Jesus found the target for City in second-half injury time. However, the goal was chalked off by referee Michael Oliver, after VAR spotted a handball from Aymeric Laporte in the build-up.
What is the current law regarding handballs in the Premier League?
ESPN’s Dale Johnson has previously clarified what the law on handballs is this season:
The handball law now says that if a player creates a goal-scoring opportunity by the ball hitting their arm, even if accidental, then it’s an automatic infringement.
To be clear, the ball did touch Laporte’s arm before Jesus put the ball into the Tottenham net.
Pep Guardiola cites Chelsea & Tottenham handball inconsistencies
After the match, Pep Guardiola expressed his frustrations that City didn’t beat Spurs 3-2.
While the Man City manager understood clearly why City’s third goal was chalked off, Guardiola cited two previous incidents where Chelsea and Tottenham benefitted from different handball laws.
Starting with Chelsea, Guardiola flagged up an incident from last week’s UEFA Super Cup, which was won by Liverpool.
During that match, Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen escaped an apparent handball.
Christensen stopped a Sadio Mane shot with his hand, but Liverpool weren’t awarded a penalty.
So should this have been handball against Christensen?
With my common sense hat on I would always say no, but then the ‘game’s gone’ of course pic.twitter.com/4N4Csyei9a
— Lilian Chan (@bestgug) August 14, 2019
Guardiola also recalled how Tottenham previously benefitted from a questionable handball decision against Man City.
In last season’s Champions League quarter-final, VAR decided Fernando Llorente had not handled in scoring the deciding goal, even though the ball did touch his hand.
What Pep Guardiola actually said
The Man City boss highlighted the following inconsistencies:
Ask the two referees here [in the dressing room] around the corner.
VAR goes to London. Llorente in the quarter-final of the Champions League — if it’s hands, it’s hands.
The hands from Christensen and Liverpool versus Chelsea [is] not hands.
We are always going to live this season in this situation, it is what it is and we have to accept it and it will make us stronger.
Does Guardiola have a point? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/V3599F0Kli
— Goal (@goal) August 18, 2019
Ilkay Gundogan says VAR rules must change
Man City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has complained about the application of VAR on social media.
According to the German midfielder, the Premier League needs to change the VAR rules.
Today’s VAR decision is really hard to take. Any attacker that commits handball, intentional or not, is now ruled a free kick?? And if you’re defending it’s fine?? It only disadvantages the attacking team.
In my opinion this rule needs to be changed. #MCITOT pic.twitter.com/TtPsB96FD0
— Ilkay Gündogan (@IlkayGuendogan) August 17, 2019