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Chelsea on wrong side of VAR luck as Europe hopes fade

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Picture Credits: Premier League Pictures (PLP)

Chelsea’s hopes of playing European football next season are hanging by a thread as the blues came from 2-0 down to walk out with a point.

An own goal from Cucurella and a strike from Morgan Rogers just before half-time looked like the hosts were set to cruise to victory but a second half fightback kickstarted by Noni Madueke and finished by Conor Gallagher saw the blues snatch a point and potentially should have had a lot more.

Villa’s opener could have easily gone to Pochettino’s side as the ball was deemed still in play by the referee and his assistant. Disasi thought he won it late in the day but VAR intervention deemed that Badiashile had committed a foul in the buildup to the goal, an incident the referee saw and deemed a “clear and obvious” error despite being in line with the offence.

Chelsea will feel hard done by on the basis that a blatant refereeing error was completely ignored a week ago in the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City.

The second half fightback will give signs of encouragement for Pochettino and Chelsea supporters as Madueke completed 90 minutes for the first time this season and inspiration will be taken from improved performances from both Badiashile and Caicedo.

The overall quest for Europe is leant on either Man Utd or Newcastle dropping points on more than one occasion whilst Chelsea themselves will need to close the gap and then open one up themselves in such little time left. Next up – Tottenham.

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