In a mixed week for Chelsea, a Monday night defeat against a key rival was followed by a victory against another this afternoon. Two very well-taken goals from Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso were enough to secure a crucial 2-1 win against Jose Mourinho's Tottenham, to leave Chelsea in the driving seat for fourth place.
In the defeat to Man United earlier in the week, Chelsea were unhappy that a VAR check allowed Harry Maguire to stay on the pitch after what looked like a red-card incident with Michy Batshuayi.
A similar situation occurred against Spurs when an awful challenge from Giovani Lo Celso on Cesar Azpilicueta was somehow waved off by VAR, much to the disbelief of Frank Lampard and just about anybody watching.
VAR officials at Stockley Park have admitted they made a mistake over the decision to not send off Tottenham's Giovani Lo Celso in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea...👀
Frank Lampard says the way the incident was handled is "just not good enough". ❌ pic.twitter.com/izLaL2LD64
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 22, 2020
We have asked why VAR did not give a red card for that Lo Celso incident. 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.
— Mark Chapman (@markchapman) February 22, 2020
In his post-match interview on BT Sport, Frank Lampard was justifiably furious with the decision. The situation was made even more farcical by the fact that following the game the PGMOL issued an apology to acknowledge that the wrong decision was made.
However, in a bizarre follow-up to the incident, they have also confirmed that Lo Celso cannot be retrospectively punished as the incident was spotted at the time.
🗣 "I am not surprised that they've put it right, but it's not good enough..."
Frank Lampard tells @DesKellyBTS the failure to send off Giovani Lo Celso could have cost Chelsea three points... pic.twitter.com/rGi9Fwz4j0
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) February 22, 2020
It's not good enough, it's not good enough. I'm sorry, it's two VARs now in two games. It's always harder to speak about it when you've lost because people claim you're just shouting. But maybe you need to shout because that's not good enough.
Everybody in the world in football saw that. It was a red, and it's too late (the PGMOL apology), it's too late because the game should be over.
I hate to call for red cards but when they're endangering, that's a leg-breaker of a tackle, without a doubt. You get VAR has been brought into the game to see it again and give the right decision, or change the decision or whatever and I'm not saying anything about the referees on the spot.
It's not easy on the spot. VAR is here to clear those up and I'm not surprised that they've put it right, but it's not good enough
This wasn't the only controversial incident of the day, with the penalty decision at Turf Moor providing plenty of drama.
For the Premier League to be able to say that this decision was wrong only minutes after it was made is a bit ridiculous, especially when you consider the vast majority of onlookers could see it should have been a red card almost instantly.