Tottenham’s goalkeepers, Joe Hart, and Hugo Lloris were the first to notice that the goalposts had irregular size when they stepped to the pitch for warm-up before the game. They had to call the attention of Jose Mourinho to it. And of course, the Portuguese tactician stepped to the pitch to see things for himself.
The Tottenham’s boss shared a picture on his Instagram page showing when he stretched his right hand to touch the bar of the goalpost. He also posted the picture of his first-choice goalkeeper Hugo Lloris who doesn’t need to stretch before he could touch the bar of the goalpost.
In the caption, Jose Mourinho wrote: “I thought I had grown but then I realized the goal was 5 centimeters lower”.
Hence, Mourinho called the attention of UEFA to it and the representatives of the European football governing body who were in the stadium to monitor the match came to the pitch and measured the goalposts. Afterward, they discovered that it was 5 centimeters smaller than the standard size.
They had to bring down the goalposts and replaced it with the standard size goalposts before the match which ended 3-1 could go ahead.
It was a funny situation, Jose Mourinho said.
In their defense, Shkendija insisted that they didn’t bring the goalposts there to cheat, arguing that it was not their regular home ground. They decided to use the stadium when UEFA declared their regular home ground unfit for the match.
In the match itself, Erik Lamela scored Tottenham’s first goal in the 5th minute. Shkendija were able to contain every other attempt by their visitors to score throughout the first half. In the second half, both teams played 10 minutes before Shkendija’s player played a wonderful shot which Joe Hart didn’t have an answer to and led to the equalizing goal.
Then, Tottenham’s big boys decided to turn up for the game. Son Heung-Min scored Tottenham’s second goal in the 70th minute. He assisted Henry Kane for Tottenham’s third goal of the match in the 79th minute.
“Before the game was a funny situation because my goalkeepers told me that the goal was small,” Mourinho said after the match.
“I went by myself and of course the goal was small. The goalkeepers, they spend hours and hours and hours in the goal so they know when the goal is not the right dimension.
“I am not a goalkeeper but I know football since I was a kid and I know when I stand there and I spread my arms and I know the distance, so I felt immediately that something was going wrong.
“We got the Uefa delegate to confirm and yes it was 5cm smaller, which of course we demanded the goals to be replaced for goals of the right dimension.”
Jose Mourinho and his men will host Maccabi Haifa at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the play-off round of the Europa League on Thursday. The team will be on duty in the Premier League on Sunday when they take on Newcastle United.