Mauricio Pochettino admitted he substituted Davinson Sanchez for fear of the Colombian being sent off in Tottenham’s 2-0 win at Swansea.
Fernando Llorente – with his first Premier League goal for Tottenham – and Dele Alli were on target as Spurs hurdled Arsenal into fifth place in the table. The race for the Champions League has become a sprinting marathon.
But Tottenham’s fifth win in six league games was mired in controversy as Llorente was clearly standing in an offside position when he nodded home Christian Eriksen’s free-kick.
Sanchez also was fortunate not to be sent off 10 minutes after half-time for scything down Martin Olsson after being booked in the first half.
“We were all worried about the second yellow card,” Pochettino said about Sanchez’s withdrawal four minutes after his foul on Olsson.
“The first half yellow card wasn’t bad, but the fans started putting pressure on the referee (Bobby Madley) and it can become a problem. So I decided to take him off the pitch.”
Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal had his say, also discussing Fernando Llorente’s opener, which was offside.
“There are two points I can talk about. One, the linesman (Perry) apologised at the end of the game,” said the Spaniard.
“I understand it’s a mistake. I make mistakes, all of us make mistakes. It’s OK.
“Second point, Pochettino is a clever manager because he substituted Sanchez in that moment.
“He’s clever, he knows why he substituted him. After this I don’t want to talk about nothing.”
But Carvalhal did praise his players, adding: “I’m not happy with the score, but I am happy with the commitment in a difficult situation to prepare for this game.
“My players were very brave from the beginning of the game, and this is the way to try and win more points in the future.”