Referee chiefs admit VAR clanger as Giovani Lo Celso escapes red card decision

Referee bosses admitted they dropped a clanger with the VAR decision not the send off Giovani Lo Celso in Tottenham's loss at Chelsea.

The Argentinian left a late challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta shortly after Chelsea went 2-0 up at Stamford Bridge. 

There were loud calls for the red card and VAR immediately reviewed the decision after it appeared referee Michael Oliver missed the extent of the challenge.

But after over 20 replays, video official David Coote said that there was not a clear and obvious error.

However, minutes later, Stockley Park assistants admitted that Coote had made the wrong decision and that Lo Celso should have been removed from the pitch.

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Coote initially decided that Lo Celso should not have been sent off as he had nowhere else to put his foot.

It had no lasting damage on the result, with Chelsea running out 2-1 winners.

Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso scored in either half to give Frank Lampard’s side a boost in their top-four pursuits. An Antonio Rudiger own goal late on was a mere consolation for Spurs.

But the day was dominated by a VAR decision which saw Lo Cleso stay on the pitch.

The Argentine appeared to allegedly stamp on Blues captain Azpiliceuta’s leg on the hour mark.

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No call for a red card came, though, which left a lot of pundits confused, including former Liverpool forward Michael Owen.

Posting on Twitter, the pundit wrote: “Two potential red card incidents involving Lo Celso.

“Can’t believe he’s still on the pitch.

“Again, the technology does its job but the VAR referee makes a very poor decision.”

But he is not the only complaining about the decision.

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Speaking on BBC Radio 5Live, Dion Dublin said: "What are they seeing at Stockley Park that we're not?

“Lo Celso's nowhere near the ball, no intent to play the ball, and it's with anger."

Match of the Day 2 presenter Mark Chapman shared the latest from the decision makers.

“We have asked why VAR did not give a red card for that Lo Celso incident,” he said.

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We have been told 'it wasn't a clear and obvious error because VAR didn't feel there was anywhere else for him to put his foot'.

“Give me strength.”

And several more angry Chelsea fans flooded twitter with the take on decision.

“How is it not a red card,” one said.

“Absolutely ridiculous.”

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Another commented: “Lo Celso should be sent off.”

While a third suggested the technology should be considered

“Just scrap VAR,” they said.

And a fourth added: “VAR isn’t the problem – it’s the ding-dongs applying it.”

One man who was not on the pitch for the incident was Dele Alli, who started his first league game under Mourinho on the bench.

But the Portuguese boss did not disclose much on his reasoning.

  • Tottenham Hotspur FC
  • Chelsea FC
  • Premier League

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