All the VAR Decisions in 'Crazy' Tottenham vs Chelsea Clash: From Romero Red to Disallowed Goals

All the VAR Decisions in 'Crazy' Tottenham vs Chelsea Clash: From Romero Red to Disallowed Goals

Martin Moses
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • Tottenham Hotspur's clash against Chelsea on November 6 was marked by all kinds of drama
  • Spurs finished the game with nine men after Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie were carded
  • Sports Brief looks into all the times when the Video Assistant Referee was forced to intervene

Well, as far as crazy games of football go, you won't find a crazier one than the Chelsea visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on November 6.

What had been marked as the return of Mauricio Pochettino to a stadium he called home for five years quickly unravelled into one of the most bizarre first games ever seen in football, let alone the Premier League.

Mauricio Pochettino, Ange Postecoglou, Tottenham vs Chelsea
Mauricio Pochettino and Ange Postecoglou on the touchline during Tottenham Hotspur's clash against Chelsea on November 6. Photo by John Walton.
Source: Getty Images

Sports Brief takes a quick look at all the decisions where the Video Assistant Referee had to step in to help centre referee Michael Oliver in North London.

VAR decisions: Tottenham versus Chelsea

14th minute - Heung-min Son thinks he has doubled Spurs' lead, but the linesman on his right has his flag up. The VAR rubberstamps the decision, with the South Korean adjudged to have gone ahead of Axel Disasi.

21st minute - The first of Chelsea's goals to be ruled out. Reece James unleashes a ridiculous trivela to release Raheem Sterling on a solo run. The England international keeps going skipping through challenges before finding the back of the net. The ball, however, ricocheted off his arm before he struck it. The VAR rightfully disallows it.

27th minute - Another piece of scrappy play sees the ball fall kindly to Moises Caicedo. The Ecuadorian lets fly a grass-cutter, which whizzes past Gigi Vicario, but the linesman has his flag up. Nicolas Jackson is adjudged to have blocked the goalkeeper's eye line from an offside position. The VAR approves it.

33rd minute - That phase of play is brought back to a Christian Romero foul on his international compatriot, Enzo Fernandez. Romero is shown a straight card as Chelsea gets a penalty.

37th minute - Jackson finishes off cooly first time from a Sterling cross, but the linesman and the VAR concur that he was offside.

45' plus 10 - James battles for an aerial ball with Yves Bissouma. The Chelsea captain brushes his elbow on the Malian. The VAR stops play to check for serious foul play, but the right-back survives.

77th minute - Eric Dier gets behind the Chelsea defence and finishes off cooly, but the linesman has his flag up. The VAR confirms the decision to deny Spurs what could have been an outstanding equaliser, all things considered.

All the VAR apologies in EPL

When the VAR was introduced to the Premier League in 2019, many thought the era of players getting away with wrong decisions or referees making incorrect decisions was behind us.

However, seasons later, the complaints have been loud, with the refereeing body, Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), being forced to issue numerous apologies to teams.

Sports Brief takes a look at all the times PGMOL has offered an apology after a glaring mistake in the use of the VAR, amid calls for the technology to be better utilised or taken away.

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Martin Moses
Martin Moses is a sports journalist with over five years of experience in media. He graduated from Multimedia University of Kenya (Bachelor of Journalism, 2017-2021)