QUICK THINKING from a switched-on ball boy helped Tottenham complete their rousing comeback against Olympiakos last night.
But replays suggest that the goal should NOT have counted.
The ball boy quickly threw the ball to Serge Aurier, after a challenge by Lucas Moura that could easily have been given as a foul.
But it was the throw-in itself that had some fans tearing their hair out.
Aurier’s delivery sent Lucas Moura away down the right-hand side – with the Brazilian’s cut-back turned home by Harry Kane.
But replays clearly show that the Ivorian’s left foot was over the touchline – making it a foul throw.
VAR was in operation at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – but elected not to disallow the goal.
Uefa’s official VAR protocol is vague on the matter.
It states that: “The VAR is also able to take into account any infringement that could have taken place in the immediate build-up to the incident.”
Aurier has previous in dodgy throw-ins.
In February 2018 he gained notoriety for suffering the ignominy of taking THREE foul throws in the same match against Crystal Palace.
Some football fans on Twitter were not happy that the goal was allowed to stand.
One wrote: “Sooo good on the ball boy and everything BUT Moura fouls the bloke for the throw and Aurier’s foot is over the line when he takes the throw (foul throw). Pretty lucky to get away with that one Spurs.”
While another huffed: “Talking about refs and VAR and stuff and with those eyes not one of them noticed Aurier’s left foot on the pitch at the throw in foul throw”.
After the match, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho was full of praise for the sharp thinking ball boy.
He said: “I love intelligent ball boys. He understood the game and made an assist.
“I was, between 10 and 16-years-old, a very good ball boy and he was a very good ball boy.
“He was reading the game and wasn’t looking at the stands.
“I wanted to invite him to the dressing room to celebrate with the players but he had disappeared.”
The 4-2 win saw Spurs qualify from Group B with a game to spare, while Harry Kane became the player to reach 20 Champions League goals in the quickest time.