Ex-Premier League referee reveals the only mistake Michael Oliver and VAR made in Spurs vs Chelsea
One of the craziest games in Premier League history.
Spurs surrendered their unbeaten start to the Premier League season and first place following a 4-1 defeat that doesn’t even begin to reflect the chaos.
With five disallowed goals and nine separate VAR reviews, the officiating team endured a testing evening but Clattenburg believes Michael Oliver and his support staff emerged with immense credit.
The match official sent off Cristiano Romero in the first half for a dangerous, two-footed challenge, and also gave Destiny Udogie his marching orders after the break after the Italy international committed his second bookable offence for scything down Raheem Sterling.
Clattenburg, however, believes Udogie was fortunate not have been sent-off in the opening period when he lunged at Sterling in a forceful fashion that was similar to the offence which saw Romero dismissed.
‘Destiny Udogie was lucky for two reasons, Clatternburg told the Daily Mail. ‘One, because Raheem Sterling pulled his leg away to prevent a serious injury.
‘Two, because Brooks did not tell Oliver that this challenge was worthy of a red. Udogie was airborne, leading with two feet, with studs showing.’
Clattenburg was in charge of the infamous ‘Battle of the Bridge’ in 2016 when Chelsea ended Spurs’ title hopes after they produced a comeback in a game that ended 2-2 and saw 13 yellow cards dished out.
The 48-year-old admitted last night’s drama evoked memories of that infamous occasion but was impressed at how the officiating team kept clear heads to ensure controversy was kept to a minimum.
‘This was mayhem, like some sort of sequel to ‘The Battle of the Bridge’ in 2016,’ he said.
‘That was the hardest match I ever had to referee and this game was as hectic for the officiating team to govern.
‘There were crunching challenges, petulant kicks, penalty claims, disallowed goals, potential elbows – and that was only in the first half!
I’t was the type of contest that required the officiating team to be at their very best.
‘Referee Michael Oliver and VAR John Brooks had to apply the laws but also manage the spectacle, and they were tested to their limits with what happened here.’
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