Chelsea's Win Over Tottenham: Pochettino's Return and VAR Drama
|Head Coach Mauricio Pochettino with Mykhaylo Mudryk and Conor Gallagher of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on November 06, 2023 in London, England.(Image-Getty)
Chelsea potentially revitalized their struggling season with a commanding 4-1 triumph over Tottenham Hotspur, yet the focal point of the night in north London was the return of the dynamic Mauricio Pochettino to his former club. Before the match, discussions revolved around the Argentine's comeback to the touchline at the club where he transformed them from mediocrity to Premier League title contenders and Champions League finalists during his five-year tenure before his dismissal in 2019.
Initially, Tottenham appeared poised to sour Pochettino's return as they dominated early on and secured the lead after only six minutes. However, their prospects drastically changed as reckless plays from Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie led to both players being sent off.
Despite their numerical advantage, Chelsea struggled to capitalize on their position, only taking the lead in the 75th minute. Nevertheless, Nicolas Jackson's hat-trick eventually granted Pochettino the significant victory he required following a lackluster start to his time at Stamford Bridge.
Speaking to the press, Pochettino expressed, "I feel much better, after four years to come back and say hello to all the people, it is a gift for us. Very emotional but at the same time, the memories. The game was passionate, competitive, being honest we needed three points and it was an amazing day for us. It is Tottenham but it is not more special because of that."
While the game itself was marred by five disallowed goals, numerous VAR reviews, injuries, and on-field altercations, Pochettino believed the technology was beneficial, remarking, "That is the football we wanted, we wanted technology to arrive and now it is here. I said I did not want VAR but now support VAR, we need to find the best way."
In contrast, Tottenham manager Ange Postecoglou found it challenging to dissect the events of the 90 minutes plus 21 minutes of stoppage time, expressing concerns about the growing influence of VAR on referees' decision-making authority. Nonetheless, Pochettino emphasized the need for collective efforts to improve the management of such situations, acknowledging the complexities of maintaining a balanced approach to VAR's implementation in the sport.