TOTTENHAM coach Mauricio Pochettino is believed to have saved Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira from facing a longer ban as he warned him against confronting referee Anthony Taylor after Saturday’s draw at Tottenham.
The Uruguayan was fuming after being shown a red card for his challenge on Danny Rose in the last minutes of Saturday’s North London derby.
Torreira reportedly waited in the tunnel to make his feelings known to Taylor as he is now facing a three-game ban, excluding him from next week’s clash against Manchester United.
But Standard Sport report that Pochettino intervened and warned the 23-year-old against going after the referee.
The 47-year-old Spurs coach approached Torreira and explained him in Spanish that – although he believed his challenge was not malicious – a confrontation could result in a further punishment.
But Pochettino then rejected the claims and insisted he had only said “hello” and “how are you” to the Arsenal player.
More Arsenal news
Arsenal have not yet made an appeal against the decision.
As for now, Torreira would miss Prem games against Newcastle and Everton on top of the highly-anticipated clash at the Emirates on Sunday – returning to action on April 15 against Watford.
But Gunners boss Unai Emery disagreed with the referee’s decision, insisting Rose should not have even been on the pitch following his “stamp” on Laurent Koscielny.
He said: “I didn’t watch the footage for this, but it says to me one assistant can come with more of a sanction for Rose.
“But, I think on the TV, we can watch better these individual actions to make the best decision. But VAR is coming [to the referees].”
Following the match, Tottenham maintained a four-point advantage over their bitter rivals while Manchester United leapfrogged Arsenal into the top four – and are now one point ahead of the Gunners.