Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri believes “English referees are not able to use VAR” while Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino said he was “unhappy to win like this” after the system awarded Harry Kane the penalty that won the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.
The only goal of the Wembley game came from the spot after referee Michael Oliver consulted the video assistant referee to check if Kane was onside before he was fouled by goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
The VAR camera suggested Kane was onside, but Chelsea showed a screenshot of their own system after the game that suggested he was offside.
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The Premier League is set to introduce the system from next season.
“We have six months to improve the system,” Pochettino said. “There is a lot of work to do.”
‘They have to study the system’
The key moment in the match came after 26 minutes when Kane ran on to a long ball over the Chelsea defence, rounded Arrizabalaga and was brought down.
After a 93-second wait, Oliver gave the penalty and Kane scored his 160th goal for Tottenham.
But Chelsea players – and Sarri – argued their defenders and goalkeeper were distracted by the linesman in the build-up.
Sarri told Sky Sports: “A few minutes ago I watched the video from our camera. It was offside. Our camera was in line with Harry Kane.
“Offside with the head, the knee. Offside. It was really important the linesman carried on running, he had a big impact on our defenders.
“I don’t think English referees are able to use the system.
“If you are not sure with the system, as a player you have to follow the ball and at the end of the action decide. But the linesman stopped and didn’t follow the ball – for our defenders it was offside. I don’t know about the goalkeeper but sure the defenders were affected.
“I think they have to study the system.
“It’s very strange in the Premier League there isn’t VAR and in the Carabao Cup there is the system. It’s very strange for us, the players and referees.”
‘I don’t like VAR – nobody does’
Pochettino was even stronger in his criticism of the technology, despite the part it played in his side’s victory.
“I don’t like the VAR,” he said. “Today we get the benefit of it but after watching the World Cup and another league like La Liga, I see that nobody is happy from day one that they started to use it.
“To get the benefit is nice but I am unhappy to win the game like this.
“We all have to agree – the players, the coaching staff. I watch La Liga every week and nobody is happy, the big clubs and the small clubs. If you are playing to win the title or to stay up, nobody is happy.
“That is a good example for us. We have six months to improve the system and there is a lot of work to do.”