Cenk Tosun has described the horrific moment when Andre Gomes’s season ended and revealed the injury left many players close to tears.
The Turkey international, who had only just come on as a substitute, raced over to the stricken Gomes after his right foot had got caught in the turf after he had been fouled by Tottenham forward Heung-min Son; when Serge Aurier careered into Gomes, the damage was catastrophic.
Tosun raced over to cradle Gomes and prevent the Portugal midfielder from looking down at the extent of an injury but, such was the trauma, he had gone into shock. Gomes was quickly attended to by paramedics and rushed to Aintree hospital, where he will undergo surgery.
Everton forward Cenk Tosun is in shock after witnessing Andre Gomes’ horror foot injury
Though Tosun ended up scoring Everton’s equaliser, seven minutes into the 12 that were added on at the end, he was hollow and his feelings were with his team-mate. Like all those who witnessed the incident, Tosun was disturbed.
‘Everybody is so sad inside,’ said Tosun. ‘Some players, they nearly cried. He was in shock. His eyes were open so big. He was crying, shouting and screaming. I just tried to hold him and speak to him; I tried to tell him to stay calm. We couldn’t understand him. He was the one who had got the injury.’
Son was sent-off for the challenge after the intervention of VAR. Match referee Martin Atkinson was initially set to book the South Korean, though whether he would have been able to continue is doubtful given he was so upset about what had happened to Gomes.
Seamus Coleman, Everton’s club captain who suffered a similar injury in March 2017, went into Tottenham’s dressing room after the game of his own volition and sat with Son for five minutes; he told him what had happened was an accident and tried to console the forward.
Gomes screams in agony after the shocker of a challenge by Heung-min Son and Serge Aurier
Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham’s manager, insisted that Son should not have been sent-off. Tottenham will decide in the next 24 hours whether they will lodge an appeal after the Premier League issued a statement to say the challenge “had endangered the opponent”.
‘Son was devastated,’ said Pochettino, whose side had lead through a Dele Alli goal. ‘The players from Everton came to console him. Of course, in the moment it was a little bit confusing. No one knows on the pitch when it was an action. The action was very, very bad luck.
‘We all feel so bad for Andre. I want to send my best wishes to him and the family for his recovery. We are going to talk about the VAR, the VAR need to check if it was a bad tackle and not a bad injury. We feel very disappointed with this situation by the VAR.
‘They need to check on the screen and why not. Then, everything changed.’
Pochettino was right to reference VAR. It was implemented several times during the game and each decision led to the atmosphere inside the stadium becoming febrile. When the incident with Gomes occurred, Evertonians were at their wits end as their team had earlier been denied a clear penalty.
Son’s challenge from behind had dragged Gomes down before Aurier came careering in
Spurs foward Son was emotional after his challenge played a part in Gomes’s serious injury
Replays showed Alli had handled a cross in his own area under pressure from Yerry Mina but after three minute and 13 second examination in Stockley Park, it was not given and it led to a darkening of the mood.
‘It is really tough for us to talk about what has happened on the pitch,’ said Everton head coach Marco Silva. ‘What I want to tell you, all of us love football and we play for our fans and I am 100 percent sure they didn’t like what they saw this afternoon.
‘In the second half, so many moments to stop the game. The penalty from Dele Alli, was three minutes to decide. They have to be more clear. They saw their team last week lost the game one penalty coming from nowhere and this afternoon is completely the opposite.
‘It was not just the Dele Alli situation. I saw all the moments and I have opinions on all of them. How it is possible three minutes to decide? Me, the club, we respect the referees, tough job, and we respect the VAR as well. I know they want the best but it is up to them to decide.’
Tosun helped rescue a point for Everton against Tottenham after his stoppage time equaliser
Pochettino, whose side have now failed to win in 12 matches away from in the Premier League, echoed the Portuguese’s sentiments. He was exasperated about some of the VAR decisions and stressed there was no malice in Son’s actions.
‘I think the game was under control for Tottenham,’ said Pochettino. ‘The problem is playing with one less, against the referee. Then we concede a goal playing with one less. Very difficult to understand this time of situation happened.
‘It was clear that never the intention of Son is to create the problem that happens after. It was unbelievable he receive the red card. I never complain about the VAR, but please we are going to use in the best way. It changes the spirit of football. It is creating a big, big mess.’