Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Tottenham earned the home side a deserved three points in the Premier League on Saturday, but despite the vital nature of the result, the post-match debate once again centred around the Video Assistant Referee.
Giovani Lo Celso clashed with Cesar Azpilicueta by the touchline in the second half, the Spurs man bringing his studs down on the Chelsea captain’s shin.
While referee Michael Oliver appeared not to have seen the incident initially, with his view blocked by other players, the challenge was immediately reviewed by the VAR, David Coote.
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He concluded no red card was required – but later went back on that call, saying the Argentine should have been dismissed.
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard was understandably unimpressed with the outcome, while further criticism over the inconsistencies were aired by rival boss Jose Mourinho.
Azpilicueta expressed after the match his own surprise that not even a yellow card was shown for what he felt was a “stamp,” especially considering there were thoughts of whether it could have been a red.
Similarly, Lampard told BT Sport that the challenge could have caused serious injury and that more must be done to ensure the correct calls are made in-game, noting also Harry Maguire’s kick out at Michy Batshuayi on Monday night.
“Not good enough. I’m sorry but it’s not good enough. It’s twice in two games.
“Anybody in the world in football saw that it was a red. It’s a leg breaker without a doubt. This one doesn’t need a monitor, it is a clear decision.
“I was waiting for the red card to be shown. It is not good enough. Saying afterwards that you made a mistake is not good enough, they had minutes to get it right.”
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho stopped short of commenting on the incident itself in his own post-match press conference, looking instead for consistency in the admissions of wrong decisions.
“I hope the noise is the same noise when the VAR kills us, I hope it’s the same, against Liverpool when [Andy] Robertson should get the red, against Watford when [Etienne] Capoue should get the red card twice, with the same gentleman here, I hope it’s the same noise.
“Why didn’t they say they made a mistake against Liverpool or Watford? That’s what I mean.”
Spurs now trail Chelsea by four points in the race for fourth, after their three-game win streak came to an abrupt end.
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