City star De Bruyne ‘confused’ by new handball rules

Kevin De Bruyne admitted he was confused by handball rules after Manchester City were denied a spectacular late winner against Tottenham by VAR.

The Premier League champions believed they had snatched a 3-2 victory in added time at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday but Gabriel Jesus’ strike was disallowed after reviewing a handball from Aymeric Laporte.

Replays showed the ball grazed the City defender’s upper arm when a cross went in, which according to new interpretations must be penalized – whether the handball was deliberate or not – as it led to a goal.

The fact that it wasn’t spotted by VAR until some time after the breach – referee Michael Oliver had missed it – added to the frustration.

De Bruyne doesn’t think the rule is consistent because, had the ball hit a Tottenham player’s arm in the same way instead of Laporte’s, play could have continued.

“It is what it is,” the Belgian said of VAR. “If they want to improve football, they should have it.

“But I think the only thing – the rules have to be clear. If the ball hit someone with Tottenham’s arm, it’s not a penalty, but if it hit our arm, it’s not allowed.

“It should go both ways in something like this. I don’t understand that as a player. This makes things really confusing.

The incident forced City to settle for a 2-2 draw in a game they thoroughly dominated, racking up 30 shots to Spurs’ three.

De Bruyne netted goals for Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero but the visitors responded through Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura.

It ended City’s run of 15 successive Premier League wins, but De Bruyne was not too deterred.

“Obviously we are disappointed with the result, but not with the way we played,” said the 28-year-old.

“We played very well and deserved to win, but it happens. We have to look forward. The way we played was really good and to get to this level so early in the season is good.

“We should have scored one more, we had enough chances to score.

“I really don’t mind because creating them is even more difficult and I know that another day we can score more goals.”