Scott Parker believes football is losing raw emotion with VAR as Jose Mourinho says Dele Alli deserved to start

Fulham were narrowly beaten 1-0 by Tottenham in the Premier League; Tosin Adarabioyo inadvertently turned Dele Alli's flick into his own net for the winner; Josh Maja's equaliser was ruled out by VAR after a handball from Mario Lemina in the build-up

Fulham manager Scott Parker during the Premier League match at Selhurst Park, London. Picture date: Sunday February 28, 2021. 1:34
Scott Parker bemoans the lack of 'common sense' in the game as VAR was used to rule out an equaliser because of handball in their 1-0 loss to Tottenham

Scott Parker believes football is losing its raw emotion with VAR, while Jose Mourinho says Dele Alli deserved his second Premier League start of the season.

Despite another impressive performance, Fulham were unable to find the net in a narrow 1-0 home defeat to Tottenham. They had an equaliser ruled out in the 62nd minute after Mario Lemina was penalised for handball just before Josh Maja fired home.

After an equally as frustrating goalless draw with Crystal Palace at the weekend, it was another missed opportunity for Fulham, who could have moved out of the bottom three for the first time since Christmas with a win.

Parker was disappointed to see another VAR decision go against his relegation-threatened side, and believes the technology is taking the excitement out of the game.

He said: "We're trying to make the game so pure and so sterile and trying to control every single phase and every single moment to an absolute tee and that's where the problem lies for me. What we want to see as fans and spectators is goals, excitement, and I'm sorry to say that VAR is killing every bit of that.

"No longer do you celebrate a goal because you're hanging on thinking it might be disallowed and then you have a 10-second check. You're losing the raw emotion of the game we absolutely love and it's a shame.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Tottenham's win against Fulham in the Premier League

"My opinion has not changed. My opinion has always stood for this in terms of how I see VAR and I always knew that slowly along the way, the experiences that people face will only have a damaging effect.

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"You're going to get to a point where really, there's going to be no emotion in the game and the moment is gone. Tonight is just about common sense for me.

"I think over the course of the season when you look at it and the decisions we've faced, I think we've been on the wrong end of them. The game against Newcastle comes to mind, the Cavaleiro penalty against Liverpool, and certainly that is the case. This is what it is, I'm not one to look back or whinge or moan, I'm just giving you my opinion on VAR and where our game is going, that's all it is.

"There's certain things in life you need to let breathe a little bit, you need to see its originality sometimes and let it be and football is one of them. If you want to make the game sterile and pure, then you're going to get the game you're seeing here.

Josh Maja points to his arm after his goal was ruled out for handball
Image: Josh Maja points to his arm after his goal was ruled out for handball

"It's soon going to become a game where there is no real emotion because it gets taken out with the disappointments or the experience that players, fans and coaches are going to go through.

"I understand why the goal wasn't given tonight and that's the rule. I don't agree with that rule because looking at it, I don't know what else he can physically do. If it doesn't hit his arm, it hits his side, but I'm not complaining about that, the referee has just acted to the law, but maybe with a bit of common sense in those moments.

"We've got VAR so you can always go back and work out if there's a clear advantage being had in that moment and I think tonight, there wasn't a clear advantage but that's what it is."

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Although the result went against them, Parker is confident that with similar performances, Fulham can secure another season of Premier League football.

He added: "I honestly think and honestly believe that [if Fulham keep playing as they did against Spurs, they will be safe]. We played against a fantastic team and a top football club... with arguably the best front three in the division.

"Tonight, if you were someone who didn't understand or it was the first time you were watching that match tonight, how the two teams are and where they're placed, you wouldn't suggest that was the case.

"It's constant belief that we'll get a result if we put in performances like that and we need to maintain that."

Mourinho: Alli deserved to start

Jose Mourinho 0:38
Jose Mourinho says he does not want to look at the Premier League table and is only focused on winning matches following Tottenham's victory at Fulham

Mourinho surprised most when he named Dele Alli among his starting XI for the Craven Cottage victory. The midfielder had not started in the Premier League since the opening weekend, when he was substituted at half-time.

But the Spurs manager said Alli deserved his place, with his flick ricocheting off Tosin Adarabioyo for Tottenham's eventual winner.

Tottenham celebrate the opening goal against Fulham at Craven Cottage
Image: Dele Alli had a big hand in Tottenham's goal on his second Premier League start of the season

Mourinho said: "He deserved [to start]. It wasn't a gift, it was a consequence of his work since he came back to the team, working 100 per cent and becoming fully fit and ready to play.

"He was giving us important things, he did very well in the Europa League, he did very well in every minute he was on the pitch coming from the bench against West Ham and Burnley so he was deserving.

"In this moment, we need a squad with so many matches coming so quickly. We cannot change the structure of the team but we can change two or three players, which we did today. I thought Dele was important to have a start and the feeling of a Premier League start is important for him."

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Tottenham have now won back-to-back games for the first time since November, reigniting their charge for the top four. Mourinho, however, is not looking to closely at the table.

He added: "I don't want to look to the table. I want to win matches and especially for a team like us that is paying in two competitions, the next match is Premier League but after that, it is Europa League.

"I don't want to look too much to the table, I don't want to feel too much about that, I just want to try to win matches and that's what we did today. Another one is coming fast on Sunday but we try again."

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