Tottenham suffered fresh VAR frustration as Harry Kane was denied a clear penalty in their damaging 0-0 draw at Bournemouth, while Danny Ings boosted his bid for the Premier League’s golden boot in Southampton’s 1-1 draw at Everton on Thursday.
Jose Mourinho’s side have won just once in their last three games and are in danger of missing out on European competition for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
Tottenham were off-key for long periods, but could feel hard done by after Josh King’s push on Kane in the penalty area went unpushed despite a VAR review in the first half.
“The same referee who did the VAR decision against Sheffield United, Michael Oliver. Opinions matter, It’s not only mine. Everybody knows that’s a penalty and when I say everybody, I mean everybody,” Mourinho said.
“The game has the most important moment and I don’t want to say any more in relation to that. Everybody knows.”
On course for their lowest points total since 2011, this has been a season to forget for Tottenham, who have yet to see any significant improvement since Mourinho replaced the sacked Mauricio Pochettino in November.
Just a year after reaching the Champions League final, they sit in ninth place in the Premier League, 10 points off the top four and far from certain to make next season’s Europa League.
Sunday’s north London derby against Arsenal, who are one point and one place above Tottenham, looms as a last chance to save their season.
“The performance was not good enough. There was a lack of sharpness in the attacking areas,” Mourinho said.
“I think the changes I made helped to improve the game in the last half but we didn’t score.”
Bournemouth moved up one place after ending a five-match losing streak, but it is 159 days and nine games since they last won.
Eddie Howe’s men are three points from safety with just four games to avoid relegation.
Kane had scored seven times in his previous seven Premier League appearances against Bournemouth, but VAR rejected his strong appeal for a penalty in the opening moments.
Just a week after Tottenham were the victims of a harsh VAR decision in their loss at Sheffield United, they could claim to be harshly treated again and Mourinho was visibly frustrated on the touchline.
Tottenham were struggling to find any rhythm and Erik Lamela’s woeful drive over the bar summed up their lethargic first half display.
Mourinho responded by sending on Son Heung-min and Tanguy Ndombele at the interval.
Struggling Bournemouth’s problems mounted when Adam Smith was injured in a clash of heads with Ben Davies.
Smith was stretchered off after an eight-minute delay while he was examined on the pitch.
With Tottenham running out of ideas, Bournemouth thought they had won it in stoppage-time.
But Callum Wilson’s overhead kick clearly hit King’s hand on its way past Hugo Lloris and their celebrations were short-lived as VAR intervened.
At Goodison Park, Southampton extended their unbeaten run to three games and dented Everton’s bid to reach the Europa League.
Southampton’s James Ward-Prowse won a penalty in the 28th minute when he was tripped by Andre Gomes, but the midfielder blazed his spot-kick against the crossbar.
Three minutes after that miscue, Ings put Southampton ahead.
Stuart Armstrong miscued his shot into Ings’ path and the striker rounded Jordan Pickford to claim his 19th league goal of the season, three behind the top-flight’s current leading scorer Jamie Vardy.
Richarlison equalised for Everton in the 43rd minute, the Brazilian taking Lucas Digne’s superb long pass in his stride before guiding a clinical finish over Alex McCarthy for his 14th goal of the season.