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‘I’m old school’: Ange Postecoglou bemoans use of VAR after Spurs loss

Ange Postecoglou said that VAR has made football less enjoyable after Mauricio Pochettino made an emotional return to Tottenham and led Chelsea to a chaotic 4-1 win over his old side.

Nicolas Jackson hat-trick leads Chelsea past nine-man Spurs in wild derby winRead more

Nicolas Jackson finished the hero with a hat-trick, including two goals in stoppage time. There were five disallowed goals on a wild night at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and the focus was on the officiating after Spurs, who missed the chance to return to the top of the league, ended the game with nine men. Cristian Romero was sent off after a lengthy VAR check, which left Postecoglou bemoaning the way that technology is making the game too slow.

“I don’t like it,” the Spurs manager said. “It is the way the game is going. Some of it is self-inflicted because if we come out every week complaining about decisions that is what will happen, every decision gets forensically checked and we will be sitting around for a long time in every game trying to figure out what is going on.

Quick Guide

Timeline: how derby drama unfolded

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6 mins: Tottenham 1-0 Chelsea Spurs start at a blistering pace and Dejan Kulusevski’s shot is deflected in off Levi Colwill to put them in front.

13 mins: No goal Son Heung-min slots home from Brennan Johnson’s pass, but is correctly ruled offside after a lengthy VAR check.

18 mins: Yellow card Destiny Udogie makes a two-footed challenge on Raheem Sterling and is fortunate to escape a red card.

22 mins: No goal Sterling’s equaliser is disallowed for a handball, while Cristian Romero avoids any further action for an off-the-ball kick at Colwill.

30 mins: No goal Moisés Caicedo’s long-range strike is ruled out by VAR because Nicolás Jackson was in an offside position …

32 mins: Penalty and red card But Chelsea get a spot-kick, and Romero does see red this time for a reckless lunge on Enzo Fernández in the buildup after Michael Oliver [pictured] checks the VAR monitor.

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35 mins: Tottenham 1-1 Chelsea Cole Palmer steps up and sends the penalty in off the post to level for Chelsea, who now have a man advantage.

37 mins: No goal Sterling gets in behind the Spurs defence and squares for Jackson to score, but the England forward is flagged offside.

44 mins: Spurs injuries Micky van de Ven pulls up with a hamstring injury shortly after James Maddison goes down off the ball. Both are substituted as we head into 12 minutes of stoppage time.

45+9 mins: Three yellows Jackson is booked for bringing down Pape Matar Sarr, who then clashes with Colwill. The centre-back reacts angrily before Oliver adds both names to the book.

45+12 mins: No red card Reece James’ raised arm on Udogie prompts a review for violent conduct, but no further action is taken as a 59-minute first half ends.


54 mins: Spurs down to nine men Udogie doesn’t escape this time, earning a second yellow card for a lunge on Sterling.

67 mins: Chelsea miss chances Jackson passes up two opportunities, before Gugliemo Vicario denies Marc Cucurella, who replaced Colwill at half-time. Two more Spurs changes mean that only three outfield players who started the game are still on the pitch.

75 mins: Tottenham 1-2 Chelsea Sterling times his run and crosses for Jackson, who finally finds the target to put Mauricio Pochettino’s side in front

78 mins: No goal Incredibly, Eric Dier volleys home from a flick-on to level for nine-man Tottenham, but the flag goes up – a decision eventually confirmed by VAR.

89 mins: Yellow card Moments after Rodrigo Bentancur sends a close-range effort wide, Mykhailo Mudryk is booked for a heavy challenge on Vicario.

93 mins: Tottenham 1-3 Chelsea Seconds after Robert Sánchez denies Son a dramatic equaliser, Jackson converts from Gallagher’s cross to seal victory.

97 mins: Tottenham 1-4 Chelsea In the last of the game’s 109 minutes, Jackson breaks clear again to complete his hat-trick and close out an extraordinary game. Guardian sport

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“I don’t like it but I am probably in the wilderness with that because I keep getting told that’s where we want to go. I am too old school, I’ll respect the referee’s decision right or wrong. But it is the way the game is going.

“I will never talk to the referee about the rules of the game. I think it’s so hard for referees to officiate. Their authority is constantly getting diminished. I grew up afraid of referees. They were like policemen. I like the purity of the game.”

Son Heung-min’s goal for Tottenham is reviewed, and eventually disallowed, for offside.Son Heung-min’s goal for Tottenham is reviewed, and eventually disallowed, for offside. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Postecoglou, who predicted that referees will end up wearing microphones and explaining their decisions during games, later saw Destiny Udogie sent off for two bookings.

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Spurs had led through Dejan Kulusevski’s goal but were pegged back by Cole Palmer’s penalty. Jackson’s late hat-trick took Chelsea up to 10th place.

Pochettino agreed that the various VAR checks had taken too long but he was pleased with Chelsea’s display. The Argentinian had not faced Spurs since being sacked by them four years ago. “I feel much better after four years to come back and say hello,” he said. “Very emotional. The game was passionate. We needed three points and it was an amazing day for us.”