Former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas has slammed Emerson Royal for his “ridiculous” no-look pass in the 1-1 draw with Sporting Lisbon on Wednesday.
Antonio Conte’s side could only manage a draw at home against the Portuguese side which means they need a point away at Marseille in their last group game to secure qualification to the last 16.
Spurs thought they had won it with the last kick of the game as Harry Kane swept home from close range, but after a lengthy check the England captain was ruled offside and it ended 1-1.
Conte was shown a red card for his protestations and said after the game that “VAR is doing a lot of damage”.
But the Spurs boss may well have reserved some of his anger for Royal, whose unnecessary bit of skill let Sporting “off the hook” towards the end of the game.
Spurs were knocking on the door for a winner and piling huge amounts of pressure on Ruben Amorim’s men.
Royal, finding himself in plenty of space on the right, had time to pick a pass or deliver a cross but instead attempted a no-look pass to the overlapping Bryan Gil and completely overhit it.
The ball went out for a Sporting goal-kick to a chorus of groans and shouts from the Spurs fans and Jenas joined them in their frustrations.
Jenas told BT Sport: “It’s ridiculous. If you’re going to do it at least have the quality to do it.
“You’re just letting the team off the hook.”
But former Arsenal star Freddie Ljungberg claimed Hugo Lloris was the man to blame for Spurs failing to secure the win they needed.
Spurs old boy Marcus Edwards had a pop at goal from a long way out and the ball crept in past Lloris.
“It was quick play,” Ljungberg told CBS Sports. “Gomes goes into the middle of the park, it’s a long, long way out for Edwards.
“But I am sorry, Lloris you need to do better on that, especially when there is so much at stake.
“He has struggled a bit lately. I hold him responsible for the first one, then doing this (when he came out of his box) at the end of the game, sorry Lloris, that’s not good decision-making.”
MAILBOX: Antonio Conte needs to stop complaining (it was offside) and Liverpool need players in January