Bournemouth put a miserable patch behind them to win 0-1 at Stamford Bridge. The Cherries have won twice away at Chelsea since their promotion and no other team has won there as much since. Eddie Howe’s men put in the best defensive performance they have produced this season against Chelsea and were very dangerous on the counter. It might all have been in vain, had the referee not been assisted by technology.
VAR is often maligned in the game but today, it ensured that a deserving football team were rewarded for their efforts in a time where winning the three points was crucial for them.
In the 84th minute, Dan Gosling was in the Chelsea box and looked very offside as he received the ball. He brilliantly lobbed Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa, even though Gosling was facing the wrong direction. A Chelsea defender lunged into a tackle to prevent the goal.
This would have put the referee in a bad situation, had he not been aided by technology. If this had been a few years back, Gosling would have been incorrectly flagged offside and even if the linesman had managed to see that he was onside, the referee would have been unsure whether the ball had gone in completely or not.
Today, goal-line technology informed the referee right away that the ball had gone in. The linesman took some time but eventually raised his flag. It was a very difficult decision as Billing was offside but not interfering with the play and Gosling was barely onside. Thanks to VAR, the goal was given.
Technology has a big role to play in the future. VAR is new to the EPL and it can only get better. Referees will the first ones who are grateful to having this safety net and let’s face it, it’s making the game fairer. Bournemouth might have returned home with only one point or none had it not been for VAR.
Bournemouth are now 14th with 17 points while Chelsea stay in fourth with 29. Lampard’s team now have four losses in their last five league games. If United and Spurs win tomorrow, they will respectively be two and three points behind Chelsea, meaning a Champions League berth is no longer beyond reach.
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