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Spurs interim boss Ryan Mason incensed after Diogo Jota escapes 'clearest of red cards' before scoring Liverpool's winner

"It's one of the clearest red cards I've seen," Spurs interim boss Ryan Mason baffled as Diogo Jota escapes red card for challenge on Oliver Skipp in Liverpool's 4-3 win at Anfield; Sky Sports pundits unanimous in agreement that Jota should have been sent off before scoring Reds' winner

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Tottenham interim boss Ryan Mason was left 'baffled' by the decision not to give Liverpool's Diogo Jota a red card for a high boot on Spurs' Oliver Skipp

Tottenham interim boss Ryan Mason was left incensed after Diogo Jota escaped "one of the clearest red cards" before scoring Liverpool's stoppage-time winner against Tottenham.

Referee Paul Tierney booked Jota for catching Spurs midfielder Oliver Skipp in the head with a high boot with Liverpool leading 3-2 heading into the final 10 minutes at Anfield.

Skipp was forced to withdraw from the game after sustaining a large gash to his head but, with VAR intervention not forthcoming, Jota remained on the field and netted Liverpool's dramatic winner 99 seconds after Richarlison looked to have snatched a point for Spurs in stoppage time.

Mason, whose playing career was ended by a serious head injury while playing for Hull City in 2018, said he would seek an explanation from the match officials after the "baffling" decision.

"It's one of the clearest red cards I've seen, it's difficult to take," Mason told Sky Sports. "It's an impossible one to miss.

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The Super Sunday panel were unanimous in agreement that Jota should have been sent off for a high challenge on Skipp

"When you talk about endangering an opponent, to draw blood from a stud when Skipp's head is five-and-a-half feet in the air baffles me. That type of decision is maybe the difference between winning the game or not.

"It's tough to understand and I would like an explanation. I saw the incident in real time and you have a feel for those sort of moments. The VAR official has the benefit of a replay."

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Mason continued: "I would like an explanation and a reason why it wasn't [a red card]. I can understand referees and officials on the pitch missing it even though my feeling was an instant red card because when your foot is studs showing and you're five-and-a-half feet off the ground and make contact with a player's head and draw blood, and there is a gash, I think it ticks all the boxes.

"Probably more so an experienced referee in the VAR room, you want him to help the official on the pitch in that moment. Listen, it's decided the game because that player on the pitch shouldn't have been on there at the end. I'm pretty sure most football people's opinions will probably feel the same."

Image: Jota was shown only a yellow card for his high-boot challenge on Skipp

Sky Sports pundits Jamie Redknapp and Graeme Souness agreed with Mason that Jota should have been dismissed for the challenge.

"It's a red card," Redknapp said. "Jota endangered an opponent, that's the letter of the law. Jota went on to score the winning goal, so you can understand why Mason is furious.

"Jota isn't that kind of player, he doesn't mean to hurt Skipp, but it's a nasty challenge, it's high and leaves a nasty gash. It's a red card."

Souness added: "It's a red card. Jota isn't that type of player, but he's knocked off for a brief moment, and then shown six studs. He's got to go for that."

Image: Skipp was taken off due to his head injury with six minutes remaining at Anfield

Mason: You cannot gift Liverpool four goals

Seven days on from their 6-1 defeat at Newcastle, where they were 5-0 down after 20 minutes, a repeat looked on the cards at Anfield for Tottenham as they fell 3-0 behind inside 15 minutes.

Harry Kane's 208th Premier League goal, which puts him joint-second on the all-time list with Wayne Rooney, started the unlikeliest of comebacks which was completed by Richarlison in stoppage time.

However, Jota scored for Liverpool just 99 seconds later to condemn Spurs to another loss, ending any realistic hope of qualifying for next season's Champions League, with the Europa League far from certain.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights of Liverpool against Tottenham in the Premier League

A frustrated Mason conceded the manner of Spurs' defeat was symptomatic of their season, adding: "You can't start Premier League games like that. To gift a team like Liverpool four goals makes it very difficult. It's tough to put into words. I'm absolutely gutted.

"To start a game like that is hard to put into words. I don't understand why. At the same time, we prepared for the game well because every time we had the ball we looked like scoring.

"We've showed we can be a very good team. At the same time, we also showed why we're in the position where we are. But to get back in the game and give them a goal is difficult to take. I'm devastated.

"The reality is the team that created the most chances lost the game. We were the better team by a country mile."

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