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Premier League | Gameweek 35
Apr 27, 2024 at 8pm UK
Villa Park
CL

Aston Villa
2 - 2
Chelsea

Cucurella (4' og.), Rogers (42')
Luiz (49'), Rogers (64'), Bailey (66')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Madueke (62'), Gallagher (81')
Caicedo (49'), Mudryk (82'), Silva (87'), Badiashile (90+10'), Madueke (90+10')

Mauricio Pochettino: 'Last-gasp VAR decision against Chelsea was painful'

:Headline: Mauricio Pochettino: 'Last-gasp VAR decision against Chelsea was painful':
Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino admits the controversial last-gasp VAR decision that went against his side in Saturday's 2-2 draw at Aston Villa was "painful".
Sports Mole

Chelsea head coach Mauricio Pochettino has acknowledged being denied a last-gasp winning goal against Aston Villa could prove to be "massive".

The Blues went into Saturday's Premier League fixture in the West Midlands on the back of suffering defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-finals and a heavy 5-0 loss to Arsenal on Tuesday night.

During the first half against Villa, Chelsea found themselves two goals down, with Marc Cucurella putting through his own net before a neat Morgan Rogers finish doubled the home side's advantage.

However, Chelsea rallied after the break, initially equalising through a well-taken Noni Madueke effort before Conor Gallagher curled a delightful shot from the edge of the area in the far top corner.

Given the level of the comeback, Pochettino may have taken a share of the spoils, but Chelsea thought they had claimed all three points deep into added-on time courtesy of an Axel Disasi header.

Instead, VAR ruled that Benoit Badiashile had nudged Diego Carlos too aggressively before setting up his French compatriot, a decision that led to a furious reaction from the away side.

What did Pochettino have to say?

In an interview with TNT Sports, Pochettino claimed that VAR was "damaging" the Premier League, and although he portrayed a calmer figure in his post-match press conference, the Argentine remained disappointed with the judgment call.

As quoted by football.london, Pochettino said: "We were talking a little bit. The referee didn't see the action on the field. What he saw wasn't a foul for him but then the VAR changed the decision. If the referee had said, 'it was a foul', and then stuck with the decision, then okay no problem.

"The referee saw the action, he didn't see a foul and then go check on the VAR. It was a challenge that happens so many times in football. Disappointed because in this moment, it was massive for us, to have success and believe we can get in the European competition for next season. That is why it is painful.

"I will put myself in trouble if I say anything but I think everyone saw that it wasn't a foul. To be honest, it's a push from behind – not with the power to say it's a foul. One of the most important things after Arsenal is about the team showing great character."

What does the draw mean for Chelsea?

A point gained at a club sitting in fourth place in the Premier League standings should be regarded as a positive result for Chelsea in isolation.

However, the West Londoners are now considerable underdogs to finish in the top seven, Chelsea sitting six points adrift of sixth-placed Manchester United with a game in hand.

Chelsea are also five points behind Newcastle United, who are in seventh, having played a game fewer, but a positive for Chelsea is the Red Devils and Magpies still having to play each other.

On Thursday night, Chelsea play their game in hand, at home to London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, before they square off against West Ham United - another team battling for seventh - three days later. body check tags ::

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