Mauricio Pochettino says he substituted Toby Alderweireld and Eric Dier at half-time against Bournemouth to avoid a second red card.
Ironically, Alderweireld’s replacement Juan Foyth was sent off just two minutes after entering the field of play as Tottenham fell to a 1-0 defeat at Bournemouth.
Spurs dominated the first half but Son Heung-min was dismissed five minutes before the break after shoving Bournemouth midfielder Jefferson Lerma to the ground.
Footage of the incident appears to show Lerma provoke Son with a punch to the back – watch here.
Dier was fortunate to avoid a dismissal when the referee failed to notice a poor tackle that should have resulted in a second yellow card.
He was replaced by Wanyama while Foyth came on for Alderweireld, who was also on a booking, but Foyth lasted just moments before seeing red for a dangerous lunge.
“The plan didn’t work,” Pochettino joked after the game, according to journalist Dan Kilpatrick.
Tottenham held on with nine men until Nathan Ake’s stoppage time header consigned the Londoners to a third straight defeat in all competitions.
Depending on results, Spurs now may need to beat Everton on the final day to secure Champions League football for next season.