Tuchel left with more questions than answers over Chelsea VAR debate

Date published: Sunday 28th February 2021 6:59 - Steve Pearson

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel outlined the tactical change he made that acted as a springboard to an improved second half, and was left bemused by the latest VAR controversy.

The unbeaten tenure of Tuchel at Chelsea continued with a 0-0 stalemate against Man Utd.

The Blues pushed on late in search of a winner, but clear-cut chances proved hard to come by against a stubborn Red Devils rearguard.

The game’s biggest talking point centered around the denial of a Man Utd penalty for what appeared to be a handball from Callum Hudson-Odoi.

FULL MATCH REPORT: Handball controversy proves pivotal as Chelsea, Man Utd share spoils

Speaking to Sky Sports after the match, Tuchel said: “It was a high quality game between two very strong teams. We suffered in the first half but overall it was an even game. In the second half I thought we were really strong.

“I thought we were closer to winning it, but there was a lot of quality on the pitch. Performance-wise I’m satisfied. We defended very well in the last line and I’m very happy with that.

“We were not good enough in the first half to attack the spaces. To find the solution was not always easy and we lost a bit of confidence with some easy ball losses.

“We said at half-time not to worry. We changed to a 5-3-2 to have higher ball recoveries and to regain confidence, and the boys did that very well. We were very close to winning.

“We take what we got. I’m absolutely happy. Against a team like Man United you don’t get many chances.”

On the subject of the non-awarding of a penalty, Tuchel said: “How can this be a VAR intervention? The player in red plays the ball with the hand and then we are checking for a penalty? Why does the referee have to see this?

“I’ve seen it on the iPad, I don’t understand why the referee has to check it but I’m glad it was no penalty. That would make it even worse.”

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Christensen baffled by VAR action

Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen also spoke to the press, telling Sky Sports: “I think the first half was a little back and forward. In the second half we had the chances but didn’t do enough to be dangerous. It was a tough game. We had the second half, let’s put it that way.

“They will probably be happy with it. We just wanted to win. We’re happy with it. We feel like after the second half we probably deserved to win.”

When asked if it was a fair point, the centre-half concluded: “I think so, yes.”

Regarding the controversial VAR decision, Christensen added: “I saw it but from my view it was their player who touched the ball. I don’t know why they have to check it. It was quite obvious from my view. I think just leave it.”

 

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