Kane’s VAR-as­sisted penalty vexes Spurs, Chelsea coaches

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

BY im­prov­ing the ac­cu­racy of ref­er­ee­ing de­ci­sions, video re­view was meant to cut out moan­ing from coaches. The Tot­ten­ham and Chelsea man­agers have other ideas.

Mauri­cio Po­chet­tino’s Tot­ten­ham ben­e­fited from a VAR de­ci­sion on Tues­day — with Harry Kane win­ning and con­vert­ing a penalty in the League Cup semi­fi­nal first leg against Chelsea — but the man­ager still grum­bled about the tech­nol­ogy.

“I don’t like,” Po­chet­tino said af­ter the 1-0 win. “I think it is not clwhat are the rules.”

Chelsea man­ager Mau­r­izio Sarri read­ily agreed, un­happy about how the penalty was awarded at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium in a rare use of VAR in English foot­ball. Af­ter a lengthy de­lay, re­plays de­ter­mined Kane was on­side and then fouled by goal­keeper Kepa Ar­riz­a­bal­aga when he rushed clear on goal in the first half.

Re­call­ing how VAR was a “dis­as­ter” when first in­tro­duced in Serie A last sea­son, Sarri claimed Chelsea’s own cam­era gave a more ac­cu­rate read­ing of Kane’s po­si­tion­ing than the broad­cast feed.

“Kane was off­side, clearly off­side,” Sarri said. “But it’s not im­por­tant. It’s more im­por­tant that the lines­man stops the run. He didn’t.”

While pre­vi­ously a ref­eree’s as­sis­tant would wave for off­side and play would be stopped, of­fi­cials are now en­cour­aged to let the game con­tinue un­til the at­tack has been com­pleted and the in­ci­dent can be re­viewed.

“For the play­ers on the pitch it’s clearly off­side and so he had a big in­flu­ence on our de­fend­ers,” Sarri said. “So I think they need to study bet­ter the sys­tem and it’s very strange in the Premier League there is not this sys­tem and then in the (League) Cup there is this sys­tem. It’s strange for the play­ers ... and ref­er­ees.”

Kane, nat­u­rally, was de­lighted to score his 160th goal for Tot­ten­ham in the 26th minute, mov­ing to fourth place on the club’s all-time scor­ing chart.

“I made the run, just played to the whis­tle,” Kane said. “I nicked it round the ‘keeper and I think it’s a clear penalty. It’s just whether it’s off­side or not. VAR is there for a rea­son and I’m sure they got it right.”

VAR is only used in Eng­land in some cup matches be­fore its roll­out across the Premier League next sea­son.

“We still have six months to im­prove the sys­tem,” Po­chet­tino said. “There’s a lot of work to do.”

An­dreas Chris­tensen won’t want to see any re­plays of the se­cond-half chance to equal­ize that he squan­dered. The Chelsea de­fender missed an open goal af­ter be­ing un­marked when he met Eden Haz­ard’s cross in the se­cond half.

TRO­PHY DROUGHT

Kane’s goal al­lowed Tot­ten­ham to com­plete a run of three con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries against Chelsea in all com­pe­ti­tions for the first time since the early 1960s.

Tot­ten­ham has fin­ished above Chelsea in two of the last three Premier League sea­sons, although the west Lon­don club won the ti­tle in the other year.

Win­ning his 250th match in charge of Tot­ten­ham pushes Po­chet­tino closer to win­ning a tro­phy that has eluded him. The League Cup is the last tro­phy won by the club 11 years ago.

The se­cond leg of the semi­fi­nal is at Stam­ford Bridge on Jan. 24, with the fi­nal back at Wem­b­ley — Tot­ten­ham’s tem­po­rary home — a month later.

“There is go­ing to be a bit more pres­sure on them to come out and at­tack us in the re­verse leg,” Tot­ten­ham de­fender Danny Rose said.

“But we’re one of the best coun­ter­at­tack­ing teams in the league so we are look­ing for­ward to it.” –

Photo: AP

Tot­ten­ham’s Harry Kane, falls as he chal­lenges, Chelsea’s goal­keeper Kepa Ar­riz­a­bal­aga dur­ing the EPL semi­fi­nal first leg soc­cer match be­tween Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur and Chelsea in Lon­don, Tues­day.

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