VAR Controversy Mars Chelsea's Comeback at Aston Villa

VAR Controversy Mars Chelsea's Comeback at Aston Villa

Mauricio Pochettino's Chelsea were denied a dramatic late victory at Aston Villa on Saturday, as a controversial VAR decision disallowed a goal that would have sealed a 3-2 win. The Blues had fought back from two goals down to earn a hard-fought point, but Pochettino was left furious by the intervention of the video assistant referee.

Villa took an early lead through an own goal from Marc Cucurella, and Morgan Rogers doubled their advantage before half-time. Chelsea responded with goals from Noni Madueke and Conor Gallagher, but their hopes of a comeback were dashed when Axel Disasi's effort was ruled out for a foul by Benoit Badiashile.

Pochettino was incensed by the decision, claiming that it had "damaged English football." He said: "The referee is unbelievable and it's ridiculous. It is difficult to accept. They didn't see a foul on the pitch and then VAR changed the decision of the referee. For me that was a normal challenge.

"It is painful as it has damaged English football. Villa's players and their fans didn't understand why the goal was disallowed. For me it damaged a little bit the Premier League. If we want to be the best league in the world it should be protecting the spectacle and the decision."

The draw was a blow to Villa's hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, but they remain seven points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham, who have three games in hand. Unai Emery's side will be hoping to avoid a repeat of last season, when they missed out on a top-four finish on the final day.

Chelsea, meanwhile, remain ninth in the table, but Pochettino insists that he has the backing of his squad. The Blues have spent over £1 billion on new players since Todd Boehly's takeover, and Pochettino will be under pressure to deliver results in the coming months.

Tags: #PremierLeague, #Chelsea, #AstonVilla, #VAR, #MauricioPochettino

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