Antonio Conte hits out at VAR after Emerson Royal’s red card in Tottenham’s loss to Arsenal – insisting the system needs ‘a lot of work’ after the dismissal ‘totally killed the game’
Antonio Conte has bemoaned the VAR process in English football after Emerson Royal’s sending off in their 3-1 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday.
Midway through the second half, with his side trailing 2-1, Royal chased Gabriel Martinelli down and planted his studs on to the top of his fellow countryman’s ankle.
Deeming the challenge a dangerous one, referee Anthony Taylor gave Royal his marching orders much to the bemusement of Conte and his Tottenham players.
Emerson Royal was sent off in the North London derby for a challenge on Gabriel Martinelli
The sending off had an enormous bearing on the overall result, with Granit Xhaka settling the affair shortly after with a well-taken effort to ensure Arsenal stayed top of the league.
Speaking after his side’s first loss of the season, Conte complained about the decision and said: ‘In England, I have to be honest, it’s very difficult because they don’t have the same line [threshold].’
The Italian added in his post-match press conference: ‘Sometimes you see situations that could be a red card instead, or instead a yellow card or no yellow card. They have to work a lot about this.
The Spurs full-back went studs-up on the Brazilian winger before Anthony Taylor sent him off
‘In Italy, our referees, on Thursday they stay together, to work with the video to try to improve. I don’t know if they do this in England, but I think it’s a good idea.
‘The level is so high and the VAR has to be a high level. For this reason, every part of this decision has to be top.’
Meanwhile, Conte admitted that the red card killed the game as a contest, inferring as to the reason why he made four seemingly defensive substitutions shortly after Xhaka’s goal with 20 minutes remaining in the game.
‘In this period, they scored the third goal. It was really difficult – the red card killed the game,’ he said.
‘Not because we remained with 10 men, it was a really offensive team and it took four to five minutes to make the substitutions. It made it difficult to defend.’
Antonio Conte bemoaned the decision to send off a Royal as well as reserving criticism at VAR for seemingly failing to overturn the decision
Despite his complaints regarding Taylor’s performance, Conte also criticised his team’s showing in the first period.
‘If I had to complain, it was for the first half,’ Conte said. ‘We felt the possibility to win the game and we had a lot of chances to exploit much better the situations.
‘Every time we overcame the pressure we had a lot of spaces every time. We made a mistake in the last passes. For this reason, the game was imbalanced. The second half we conceded the second goal.
‘We could have done much better but in every situation in every goal, but you could do much better there. After a few minutes, the red card killed the game totally. End of the game.’