Tottenham Hotspur crashed out of the English Football League Cup at the hands of Chelsea after suffering a 4-2 loss in a penalty shootout after both sides played out 2-2 on aggregate.
The hosts secured a 2-1 victory, but Spurs’ 1-0 win at Wembley during the first-leg meant the game was forced into spot-kicks.
Chelsea went 2-0 up into the break, but Tottenham pulled one back five minutes after play restarted.
They could have made it 2-2 after Erik Lamela appeared to have been played clean through on goal, but he was flagged offside.
Replay shows the Argentine might have been onside, and former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg thinks it was a very tight call from the linesman.
He felt play should have been allowed to continue and VAR brought into action afterwards.
“So when Erik Lamela was played through on goal at Stamford Bridge the linesman flagged for offside. It was very tight,” Clattenburg wrote in the Sportsmail.
“But when VAR is there, assistant referees need to keep their flags down when the offside is marginal so that play can continue and we see what happens. If a goal is scored, for example, VAR will then go back and either support or correct the decision.
“That is the way VAR was used at the World Cup. It worked really well in Russia. But if an assistant referee gets a marginal offside wrong, then they stop the outcome before it can happen and that defeats the object of VAR.”
With only the keeper to beat, Lamela might have gone on to grab Spurs’ second goal, and the outcome of the match might have ended up different.
The VAR will be implemented in the league next season, but officials have to learn how to make effective use of it, as any shortcoming could prove costly to clubs.