Antonio Conte furious at 'damage created' by VAR after Tottenham held by Sporting

Kane's injury-time goal ruled out for offside to leave Spurs needing to avoid defeat at Marseille to advance to the Champions League last 16

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Antonio Conte was left furious at the end of Tottenham Hotspur's Champions League match against Sporting on Wednesday after a VAR decision denied his side the chance to progress to the knockout stages.

Spurs were held to a 1-1 draw at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium but thought they had won the game when Harry Kane scored an injury-time winner. Conte and his players exploded into wild celebrations, only for their joy to be short-lived as the referee consulted the video assistant referee and eventually ruled the goal out for offside.

The win would have sent Tottenham through to the last 16. Instead, they need to travel to Marseille next week and avoid defeat to advance.

"This decision creates a big damage, I hope the club understands this," said Conte, who was shown a red card for his protestations. "I think the club has to be strong. I repeat that this situation creates a big damage.

"I would like to see if you can take this type of decision with a top team in an important game. I would like to see if VAR is so brave to take this decision.

"The ball is in front of Kane. I'm sorry but I'm really upset because you can assess the situation. I don't see honesty in this type of situation. When I don't see this, I become really upset."

Tottenham, who began the match on the back of successive Premier League defeats, were poor in the first half against Sporting and the visitors' took a deserved lead in the 22nd minute when former Spurs player Marcus Edwards was given time to line up his shot and he duly beat Hugo Lloris with a sweetly-struck shot.

Tottenham were vastly improved after the break and peppered the Sporting goal in their desperate search for an equaliser with keeper Antonio Adan making sharp saves from Eric Dier, Son Heung-min, and Matt Doherty.

Tottenham v Sporting player ratings

The hosts eventually levelled with 10 minutes remaining when Ivan Perisic swung in a corner and midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur rose highest to head powerfully past Adan.

There was still more drama to come with Lloris forced into action to deny substitute Fatawu Issahaku before Kane thought he had stolen it for the hosts.

"I think you can see from the celebrations we thought we won it. I don't really know what happened at the end," Tottenham defender Doherty told BT Sport.

"I thought because it went backwards and hit a defender it was a different phase of play. I'll have to look at the rule book. A few of us don't have a clue what happened."

Updated: October 27, 2022, 7:26 AM
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