It was a very difficult decision for the officials who had to decide if Lloris in clearing the ball had handled it outside his box. He was penalised and booked for a similar offence against Norwich last Saturday but was he lucky this time?
It was a crucial moment early in the match but Tottenham and Hugo Lloris got the benefit of the doubt as he came out to the edge of his penalty area to clear the ball with Fraizer Campbell advancing on goal. The officials decided in favour of the Spurs goalkeeper – Where they right?
Andre Villas-Boas’ comments on the Lloris incident were reported in the Ham & High website, saying,
I haven’t seen it, but I understand he was right on the limit. I’m not sure if there is some controversy there. Most people I have spoken to told me his hand is right on the line. I think if that is the case the referee made the right decision.
Tottenham had played themselves into trouble. Kyle Naughton playing at left back in place of the injured Danny Rose was put under pressure by Craig Bellamy after 5 minutes. In trying to get the ball on to his stronger right foot in order to clear he was forced into a misplaced back pass towards his goalkeeper. Lloris rushed out to the edge of the area as Campbell closed in on him and the ball. The goalkeeper got his hand to the ball to make a vital clearance but when he made contact with the ball was it inside or outside the penalty area?
The referee was in no position to know while Lloris’ body obscured the view of his assistant. They could not be certain and play moved on. After viewing the incident from numerous camera angles, the television decided that he touched it outside the area but I feel Lloris had made contact on the 18-yard line as when the ball had gone Lloris’ hand was on the line and rushing out at such pace the momentum would surely have taken him further out of his area.
It was a crucial judgement as if it had gone against Lloris, the referee would have had to send him off and Spurs would have been facing a considerable challenge playing against Cardiff with only ten men for 85 plus minutes.
Spurs may have got lucky this time or did they?
Should Hugo Lloris have been sent off?