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Tottenham's Defeat to Chelsea Amid VAR Drama and Nine-Man Finish

 Tottenham's Defeat to Chelsea Amid VAR Drama and Nine-Man Finish

Nicolas Jackson of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his third goal
Nicolas Jackson of Chelsea celebrates after scoring his third goal during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea FC at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on November 6, 2023 in London, England. (Image-Getty)

Tottenham Hotspur's aspirations of reclaiming the Premier League summit were shattered in dramatic fashion with a resounding 4-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea, buoyed by a Nicolas Jackson hat-trick in a tumultuous London derby that saw the home team finish with nine men on Monday evening.

Mauricio Pochettino's triumphant return to Spurs was marked by his most significant victory yet during his brief stint with Chelsea. However, the match unfolded in a bewildering spectacle of VAR controversies, fiery tempers, nullified goals, and a string of injuries.

Tottenham initially seized the lead after only six minutes, courtesy of a deflected strike by Dejan Kulusevski, followed shortly by a disallowed goal from Son Heung-min due to an offside call.

Echoing shades of the infamous "Battle of the Bridge" in 2016, where Chelsea dashed the title hopes of Pochettino's Tottenham, the hosts' night spiraled into turmoil, potentially impacting their season significantly. Center back Cristian Romero was shown a red card following a VAR review for a dangerous tackle, resulting in a penalty converted by Cole Palmer. The Spurs defense further crumbled as injuries forced the early departures of defensive partner Micky van de Ven and playmaker James Maddison.

Destiny Udogie's second yellow card left the home side grappling to salvage a point. Capitalizing on their numerical advantage, Chelsea surged ahead with Jackson's close-range goal in the 75th minute, validated after another VAR examination for offside.

Tottenham's hopes for an equalizer were dashed when substitute Eric Dier's goal was ruled out for offside, followed by a stoppage-time save from Robert Sanchez denying Son's attempt. Jackson sealed Chelsea's victory with two late goals, sparking jubilation among the Chelsea faithful.

This first league defeat for Ange Postecoglou's side dropped them to second place with 26 points from 11 games, one point behind reigning champions Manchester City. Chelsea's fourth league win propelled them to 10th place with 15 points.

Reflecting on the match, Postecoglou struggled to make sense of the defeat, lamenting the disruptive impact of numerous VAR decisions that interrupted the flow of the game.

Pochettino, meanwhile, acknowledged the grueling nature of the match, humorously commenting, "Today we played 110, 120 minutes I don't know. Is it 1am now?"

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