Kevin De Bruyne has admitted he was confused by the rules of handball after Manchester City were denied a dramatic 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.
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 should be clear. If the ball hit someone in Tottenham’s arm, it’s not a penalty, but if he touched our arm, it’s not allowed..
“It should go both ways in something like that. I don’t understand that as a player. It 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.
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De Bruyne scored goals for Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero but the visitors responded with Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura. It ended City’s 15-match Premier League winning streak, but the 28-year-old wasn’t too deterred.
“Obviously we are disappointed with the result, but not with the way we played,” he said. “We played very well and deserved to win, but it happens. We have to look to the future. The way we played was really good and reaching this level so early in the season is a good thing.
“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.”