Tottenham had been unbeaten in the Premier League until Monday, when Nicolas Jackson scored a hat-trick to help Chelsea beat them 4–1. The game was wild and had a lot of VAR drama.
On his first visit back to Chelsea since being fired in 2019, Mauricio Pochettino was able to enjoy a sweet win over Tottenham.
But the Argentine’s plan to get back at the team was overwhelmed by a huge number of controversial events, such as Tottenham players Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie getting red cards.
Tottenham took the lead early on thanks to Dejan Kulusevski, but Romero was sent off for a mistake that let Cole Palmer score from the penalty spot before halftime to tie the game.
Because the VAR judges were too busy, referee Michael Oliver and Udogie were both sent off soon after the break for his second yellow card.
Both teams had goals ruled out by VAR, and Tottenham’s bad luck continued when they lost England midfielder James Maddison and Dutch defender Micky van de Ven to injuries in the first half.
Chelsea finally took advantage of having more players on the field when Jackson scored three goals in the last few minutes, giving Chelsea the win and giving Tottenham their first loss in 11 league games.
Manchester City is still in first place, one point ahead of Ange Postecoglou’s team. Chelsea, on the other hand, moved up to 10th place after their first win in three league games.
“There will be a forensic study of every decision out there, I think that is the way the game is going and I don’t like it,” said Postecoglou.
“If you look at all that standing around we did today, maybe people enjoy that sort of thing but I’d rather see us playing football.”
Pochettino got mostly good reviews from Tottenham fans because he led the team to their first Champions League final during his five-year rule.
But there was no question that he was happy to hand his old team their first league loss this season, especially since it happened in one of the most controversial games in the Premier League.
“The tech is out there, and we need to use it.” “A lot of things happen on the pitch, and you need to check and double-check,” Pochettino said.
“We deserve the praise. Tottenham is doing great, but we were the better team tonight.”
Tottenham got off to a great start when Kulusevski hit the ball hard and Levi Colwill blocked it, allowing it to go in.
Tottenham was lucky that they didn’t go down to 10 players because Udogie wasn’t booked until VAR looked at his careless two-footed lunge on Raheem Sterling.
Sterling and Son Heung-min of Tottenham both had goals taken away by VAR for handball and offside, respectively.
The already heated match got even hotter when Romero didn’t get sent off for kicking out at Colwill.
The break didn’t last long for Romero, though, as the Tottenham back was sent off in the 33rd minute.
The shot from Moises Caicedo from the edge of the box beat Guglielmo Vicario, but VAR said Jackson was offside. They still helped Chelsea, though.
During the VAR review, Romero’s challenge on Enzo Fernandez right before Caicedo’s shot was found to be a penalty. The defender was sent off for following through with his studs on the Chelsea midfielder’s shin.
Vicario almost saved Palmer’s penalty kick, but it was strong enough to go in through the post instead.
Udogie almost got a red card earlier in the game, and in the 55th minute, for a rough tackle on Sterling, he finally got sent off.
That made it possible for Chelsea to attack because Spurs played a high defensive line that let Chelsea get behind them.
In the 75th minute, Sterling ran away down the right side of the field and sent in a cross that Jackson scored from 10 yards out. This was Chelsea’s game-winning goal.
Even so, Tottenham fought hard, and Eric Dier was denied because VAR said he was offside. Rodrigo Bentancur then hit a header just wide, and Son was stopped by Sanchez.
The carnage reached its peak in extra time, when Jackson scored from Conor Gallagher’s cross and then ran clear to hand Tottenham a rare loss.