Tottenham and Atletico Madrid failed to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League on Wednesday after Matchday 5 contests that were filled with late drama and VAR involvement. Tottenham drew Sporting Lisbon 1-1 in London, and Spurs will have their last chance to go through on Matchday 6 against Olympique Marseille. Atletico Madrid are already officially out of the major European competition with their 2-2 draw at home to Bayer Leverkusen.
But what exactly happened? Let’s take a look:
Harry Kane was ruled offside by a hair
An incredible end of the match between Tottenham Spurs and Sporting CP with the home team that was so close to qualifying for the round of 16 with a goal scored by Kane. Antonio Conte’s side went down 1-0 in the first half with the goal scored by Marcus Edwards and then equalized in the second half with a header of former Juventus midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur. Spurs pushed to score the winning goal until the end and made it in the last minute with Kane from close, but the VAR called it offside despite seeming to be on.
Take a look:
CBS soccer rules expert Christina Unkel explained the confusion in the postgame show, citing why it was called that way.
“Now we have the semi-automated offside technology, so they are immediately tracking the line as soon as he touched the ball,” she said. “They track the line where the ball is. Once there is the touch of the player, that’s where we draw the line and it’s important to have the right frame, because one or two frames in advance, he’s onside.”
What looked like a Tottenham win in the final seconds was not meant to be.
Here’s the video breakdown:
Atletico Madrid given a penalty they wouldn’t convert
Something even more surprising was what happened in the last minute of the match at the Wanda Metropolitano. After the referee whistled the end of the match between Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen, the VAR called back the referee to look for a potential penalty for a handball.
Take a look:
Unkel said that in this case, “the application of the rule is very strict. These are UEFA referees and now will get FIFA interpretations where also the handballs are also very strict. Here we are talking about the first handball touch, not the second one, where the arm is extended and touched the hand. The second one is natural, while the first one is the one we call a deliberate handling offense.”
When it came to the fact that the referee let them even attempt a rebound when it was technically over, Unkel explained that “as soon as the kick is taken we talk about extending the time and that play has to be completed.”
Atleti had three cracks at it, but all they got was a seat to watch the knockout stages from home.
Here’s the breakdown: