Maurizio Sarri was so insistent that Harry Kane was offside in the build-up to Tottenham Hotspur’s highly controversial goal that secured a 1-0 victory in the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg that the Chelsea manager produced his own footage of the incident, which he claimed proved the striker should have not been awarded a penalty.
Kane broke free of the Chelsea defence midway through the first half before being brought down by goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. With assistant referee Simon Bennett raising his flag to signal the Spurs forward had strayed offside, referee Michael Oliver allowed play to continue which resulted in the collision, before calling on the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to decide whether the penalty should stand or not.
Oliver’s handling of the situation was not helped by a number of players attempting to sway his decision by interrupting him while he spoke to the VAR, but eventually it was decided that Kane was onside due to Cesar Azpilicueta’s position and the penalty stood, which Kane thumped past a stranded Arrizabalaga.
Sarri disputed the decision though, and after claiming in his post-match press conference that the club’s own analysis showed Kane was offside, he produced the footage for the world to see.
“I saw a few minutes ago a video from our camera - it was offside,” Sarri told Sky Sports. “Our camera was in line with Kane, (it) was offside. But it's not important. Offside with the head and knee – offside.”
The camera angle was not perfectly in line with the last man, and although Chelsea’s angle suggests Kane was offside, the reverse footage that was used by the VAR appears to show him onside.
But Sarri was more upset with how the use of VAR is being implemented, given that he believes his defenders will automatically switch off when they see the assistant referee’s flag raise.
Chelsea's video analysis appears to show Kane in an offside position (Sky Sports)
“It was really, really important that the linesman stopped the run. He didn't follow the ball so he had a big influence on our defenders I think,” Sarri added.
“At the moment I think that English referees are not able to use the system.
“If you are not sure, with this system, you have to follow the ball and at the end of the action you have to decide. But in this case he stopped. He didn't follow the ball so for our defenders it was offside. I don't know about the goalkeeper but for sure, the defenders, but it's not important.
“They have to study, I think, the system because also in Italy the first period was very difficult to understand. Of course, it's very strange that in the Premier League there isn't and in the Carabao Cup there is the system. Strange for us, the players and I think also the referees.”