Mario Melchiot has criticized Pope Matar Sarr for taking a penalty “recklessly” in Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-3 draw with Southampton on Saturday.
In the closing moments of the game, Sarr tried to clear the ball from inside the box, but the £15million man (DM) Eventually missed his shot and caught Arsenal loanee Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
The Southampton defender fell to the ground and the referee did not hesitate when he pointed at the spot.
James Ward-Prowse stood up for his side and scored a very valuable point in front of Fraser Foster to save Southampton from relegation.
While Antonio Conte’s rant after the game was the main talking point, so was the penalty awarded.
Former Premier League midfielder Melchiot admitted there was an element of weakness to Sarr’s foul, but the 20-year-old gave the referee a call: As he told MatchDay Extra at Premier League Productions (18/03/23 8.10pm).
“For me, the reckless way Sarr tried to kick the ball away,” Melchiot said. “The general mood of his body, in a way, gave the referee some help in making the decision.
“If he (Maitland-Niles) was in my team then I’d be really happy for him (going to the ground). But saw this and then he really touched him a little bit.
Tottenham can’t stop conceding
There will be considerable debate over whether the penalty should have been awarded, but it can only mean something as Spurs allow their opponents back into the game.
At 3-1, the Champions League chasers, with less than 20 minutes to go, should see the game over.
Instead, Spurs allowed ex-Arsenal man Theo Walcott to pull a goal back, which opened up a wall of pressure for the team, which they could not cope with as they conceded first and then dropped points. No wonder Conte lost after the game.
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