Pochettino hits out at use of VAR after Spurs’ win over Chelsea

Mauricio Pochettino bemoaned the use of VAR despite Tottenham benefiting in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg win over Chelsea at Wembley.

Harry Kane scored from the spot in the 26th minute after being scythed down by Kepa Arrizabalaga, with the video assistant referee ruling the England striker had stayed onside in the build-up.

The decision means Pochettino’s side take an advantage to Stamford Bridge for the January 24 second leg, but the Spurs boss was less than satisfied.

Players await the VAR decision at Wembley (John Walton/PA)

Pochettino told a post-match media conference: “It’s a system that sometimes kills the emotions. Today it was an advantage for us, but I didn’t celebrate because we were waiting five minutes.”

Pochettino had earlier told Sky Sports: “Of course I am pro-technology because you cannot stop evolution.

“I think it is not clear what are the rules. Before they start to use it I think we need to be clear how we are going to use it and to all agree – the clubs, the players and the coaching staff. If not it’s going to be difficult.”

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri thought the decision was wrong and said the assistant referee’s actions in stopping running contributed to his players’ belief that an offside would be given against Kane.

“From the image from our camera, Kane was offside, clearly offside,” Sarri said. “But it’s not important. I think it’s more important that the linesman stopped the run, he didn’t follow the ball.

“So for the players on the pitch, it’s clearly offside. He had a big influence on our defenders.”

Sarri had not seen the official VAR footage, only images from Chelsea’s own camera.

In his Sky Sports interview, Sarri questioned whether English referees were able to use VAR properly.

It's very strange that in the Premier League there isn't (VAR) and in the Carabao Cup there is

“At the moment I think that English referees are not able to use the system,” he said.

“I think they have to study the system. Of course, it’s very strange that in the Premier League there isn’t and in the Carabao Cup there is the system. Strange for us, the players and I think also the referees.”

Sarri felt Chelsea deserved more from the game.

He said: “I’m really disappointed with the result, but I’m really happy with the performance.

“We played with a very good level of application, of determination, with the heart, with the soul. We played in this way with continuity for 95 minutes.”

Callum Hudson-Odoi started and performed well amid repeated links with a big money move to Bayern Munich.

Of the 18-year-old, Sarri said: “He played like a player of 25, 26 years, I think. A very good match.”

- Press Association


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