CONSIDERING the past hostilities between the two managers, we expected some argumentative happenings in the Tottenham Hotspur-Manchester City match on Sunday.

The first thing to get them off their seats was Raheem Sterling’s tackle on Spurs Dele Alli.

Jose Mourinho wanted Sterling sent off.

Yes it was late and caught Alli on the shin, but referee Mike Dean, whose not shy with red cards, treated it as reckless rather than with excessive force and showed Sterling a yellow card.

Next we had City’s Sergeo Aguero tackled by Serge Aurier in the Spurs penalty area, falling heavily to the ground.

Dean played on, indicating to players that Aurier had played the ball.

However, the fact a tackler plays the ball is not necessarily a sign it was a fair tackle.

When training new referees I always used a demonstration to illustrate this point.

If the player plays the ball cleanly and the opponent falls over his legs, it is a fair tackle.

If, however, he makes contact bringing down the opponent, prior to playing the ball, then it is a foul.

It is also a foul if the player plays the ball first, but with his trailing leg brings the opponent down.

That is different from the opponent falling over his leg.

However, after a stoppage, the VAR told Dean it was a penalty.

I wonder if the referee got home to the Wirral in time to watch Match of the Day and would have agreed with me when watching the replay, that he had got it right.

The penalty was taken and saved by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who, after pushing the ball to one side, jumped up and followed it across the penalty area.

Sterling was also racing towards the ball and when Lloris dived he went down.

The replay seemed to show Lloris withdrew his arm after diving and made no contact with Sterling’s feet.

Mourinho wanted a second yellow card for diving, but was it an intent to deceive, or as Dean must have thought, Sterling’s momentum which took him down?