Monday 23 April 2018

AVB defends decision to put blacked-out Lloris back on the field

Hugo Lloris of Tottenham Hotspur leaves the field through injury yesterday but was brought back on
Hugo Lloris of Tottenham Hotspur leaves the field through injury yesterday but was brought back on

Andy Hampson

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas dismissed criticism of his decision to allow goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to continue after he was concussed in his side's draw at Everton.

Lloris took a heavy blow to the head in a collision with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku late in the second half of a goalless Barclays Premier League encounter at Goodison Park.

The Frenchman required lengthy treatment after the 78th-minute incident - the chief reason nine minutes of injury time were played - and looked set to be replaced by Brad Friedel.

But after finally being led off the field, he insisted he was fit to continue and Villas-Boas decided against making a substitution.

Lloris went on to make a good late save from Gerard Deulofeu but questions were still asked as to whether it was safe for the 26-year-old to play on.

Villas-Boas said: "Hugo still doesn't recall everything about the incident.

"I made the call to keep him on the pitch because of the signs he was giving.

"He was determined to continue and looked concentrated, driven and focused enough for me not to make the call to replace him.

"The saves he did after the incident proved that right."

Both sides missed the opportunity to climb to second in the table as they played out the stalemate.

Spurs dominated before the break but failed to make the most of their considerable possession while Everton were the stronger side in the second half.

There were penalty appeals by both sides, each after Jan Vertonghen and Seamus Coleman tangled, but referee Kevin Friend gave neither.

The lack of goals highlighted Spurs' main weakness during this league campaign, having only struck nine times in 10 games.

But they still ended the game in fourth place and Villas-Boas said: "The chances are coming and sometimes they go your way and the opponent is not there to stop it.

"You can have more goals, less goals. We all want excitement but right now the team is doing extremely well."

Everton manager Roberto Martinez had mixed feelings about the outcome.

He said: "I would have been delighted (with a draw) in the first half. In the first half we lost the ball too quickly and then it becomes a very difficult game.

"But the second half was different. We kept the ball better and we forced Spurs to defend.

"Then you saw two teams who weren't happy with the draw, both teams striving to get that winning goal."

Martinez had no doubt Everton should have had a penalty when Vertonghen appeared to clip the back of Coleman's legs in the second half.

Coleman attempted to play on and get a shot away and Martinez thinks that influenced referee Friend's decision.

Martinez said: "Seamus gets impeded but he doesn't over-react, he doesn't look for the penalty.

"He just gets back on his feet and that probably allows the referee not to make a decision."

Online Editors

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