Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris says VAR decisions are complicated to understand after his side were denied a last-gasp win over Sporting Lisbon and qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Spurs saw a Harry Kane goal chalked out for offside with the last kick of the game, which meant they had to settle for a 1-1 draw in their final home clash of the Group D campaign.
Even though television replays appeared to suggest the England captain was behind the ball when Emerson Royal headed it back across goal, the perpendicular lines ruled he was not.
It denied Tottenham an unlikely win after they had trailed to former striker Marcus Edwards’ first-half goal until the 80th minute, when Rodrigo Bentancur headed home an equaliser.
Lloris’ side must now head to Marseille to seal qualification to the last 16 next week, where a point will do the job.
“When it is so close it is very hard to decide,” he said of the controversial VAR decision. “It is the technology and we start to get used to it but it is a complicated period that we live in.
“We know the rules obviously. The problem is when you look at the angle of the camera you don’t know if the defender’s foot is on the same line as Harry Kane’s foot, it is very difficult to see.
“Also the line of the ball is a reference but it is difficult to see and to identify the real line.
“It is hard but it is the technology we have to trust and when it goes against you, you feel it is unfair but when it is in your side, then your feelings are very different.”
Spurs would have been fortunate to win after an insipid first-half display after which they were booed off.
They were considerably better after the break and Lloris says – given the gruelling pre-World Cup schedule – it is impossible for teams to play well for 90 minutes.
He added: “Like every team, playing every three days you cannot play 90 minutes with intensity, so you miss 20 to 30 minutes in a game that we have to be more cautious and try to avoid conceding chances.
“But that is part of football and it is the case in the Premier League and the Champions League, it is high-level football, there is quality everywhere in any team.
“It is just a period we have to deal with and go through and hopefully we will finish this period with better feelings.
“There are two ways to reflect about the game. The one I prefer is to say if we had played the first half in the same way as the second, with the same energy, with the same willingness to go forward, to press the opponent and be very dominant, probably the score would have been different.”
Tottenham will go through if they take a point at the Stade Velodrome next week, but will exit Europe altogether if they lose.
Lloris added: “Obviously it is going to be like a final. Even if we have a small advantage because with a draw, it will be enough to go through.
“It is a kind of game where we need to use our head but also play with your feelings and heart and go with everything because every detail matters.”