Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglou has explained his side’s radical tactic in Monday’s dramatic 4-1 defeat to Chelsea. The Australian has also given his verdict on VAR after it again took centre stage in north London.
Three late Nicolas Jackson goals sealed victory for Chelsea. But that doesn’t even tell half the story of a Premier League classic that will be spoken about for years to come.
Tottenham had taken an early lead but Chelsea drew level through a Cole Palmer penalty after Cristian Romero was sent off. Spurs went down to nine men early in the second half but still attempted to play with a high line.
The tactic paid off for the first half hour of the second half, with Chelsea frustrated at not being able to make their advantage count. The high line was the talking point of the commentary team during the game but Postecoglou says he will always stick to his guns.
He told Sky Sports: “It is just who we are mate, it is who we are and who we will be for as long as I am here. If we go down to five men we will have a go.”
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Chelsea eventually made it count when Jackson scored in the 75th minute. He added two more in stoppage time to add gloss to the result for the visitors.
The match was often halted due to VAR reviewing incidents, including a number of goals being disallowed and potential red card tackles. Postecoglou would rather the flow of the game not be disrupted as much as it was on Monday.
He added: “There will be a forensic study of every decision out there, I think that is the way the game is going and I don’t like it. If you look at all that standing around we did today, maybe people enjoy that sort of thing but I’d rather see us playing football.”
VAR and refereeing decisions grabbed headlines over the weekend. But Postecoglou insists he has to accept the calls made by the officials.
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He said: “You have to accept the referee’s decision, that is how I grew up. This constant erosion of the referee’s authority is where the game is going to get – they are not going to have any authority.
“We are going to be under the control of someone with a tv screen a few miles away. The decision is the decision. In 26 years I have had plenty of bad decisions, I have had plenty fall in my favour. It is what it is.”
Postecoglou was full of pride for the performance of his players, who came close to equalising before Jackson’s late brace. He commented: “It is pretty hard to process. It is almost impossible to analyse the game because it just seemed to get out of control for large parts of it.
“Disappointed by the result but really proud of the players, they gave everything and that is the positive we will take. We were very close to getting an equaliser a couple of times and it shows their spirit. It was just a bridge too far today.”
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