Mauricio Pochettino Criticizes VAR After Disallowed Goal in Chelsea’s Draw with Aston Villa

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has voiced his frustration with video assistant referee (VAR) technology, labeling it as “damaging” to English football following Axel Disasi’s disallowed stoppage-time winner in their draw against Aston Villa.

Pochettino’s side fought back from two goals down to secure a draw at Villa Park, with Disasi’s late goal initially appearing to seal victory for Chelsea. However, VAR intervened and recommended an on-field review, ultimately leading to the goal being overturned due to a perceived foul in the build-up.

Expressing his discontent, Pochettino criticized the decision, stating, “For me, that was a normal challenge. The decision was there and that’s it.” He emphasized that such incidents damage the spectacle of the game and suggested that protecting the integrity of football decisions should be a priority.

Despite the setback, Chelsea showcased resilience throughout the match, with Noni Madueke and Conor Gallagher scoring pivotal goals to salvage a point. Pochettino commended his team’s performance but lamented the impact of VAR decisions on the outcome of matches.

On the other side, Villa experienced disappointment despite taking an early lead, with their top-four aspirations now uncertain following dropped points. Manager Unai Emery acknowledged the significance of securing Europa League qualification but expressed disappointment at failing to secure all three points.

The match saw both sides exhibit moments of quality, with Madueke and Morgan Rogers impressing for Chelsea and Villa, respectively. However, the contentious VAR decision overshadowed the result, reigniting debate surrounding the technology’s influence on the game.

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