Jackson Hat-Trick Inspires Chelsea to Chaotic Victory Over Nine-Man Spurs
London – In a thrilling encounter filled with VAR drama, Chelsea ended Tottenham’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season with a commanding 4-1 win, courtesy of Nicolas Jackson’s hat-trick. The fixture marked Mauricio Pochettino’s first return to Tottenham since his departure in 2019, and the Blues’ boss could savor sweet revenge over his former club.
However, the match was marred by a series of controversial incidents, including red cards for Tottenham’s Cristian Romero and Destiny Udogie. Tottenham had taken an early lead through Dejan Kulusevski, but Romero’s foul led to Cole Palmer’s equalizer from the penalty spot before halftime.
Referee Michael Oliver and the VAR officials were kept busy, as Udogie received his second booking and was dismissed soon after the break. Both teams endured disallowed goals due to VAR decisions, and Tottenham also suffered injuries to James Maddison and Micky van de Ven.
Chelsea eventually capitalized on their numerical advantage, with Senegal striker Jackson scoring three times in the closing stages to deliver Tottenham’s first defeat in 11 league games.
With the victory, Ange Postecoglou’s side remains in second place, trailing leaders Manchester City by just one point. Chelsea climbed to 10th place following their first win in three league matches.
Post-match, Postecoglou expressed his dissatisfaction with the increasing reliance on VAR, stating, “There will be a forensic study of every decision out there, I think that is the way the game is going and I don’t like it. If you look at all that standing around we did today, maybe people enjoy that sort of thing but I’d rather see us playing football.”
Pochettino, on the other hand, received a warm reception from Tottenham fans for his successful five-year tenure, which included leading the club to their first-ever UEFA Champions League final. Delighted with the victory, he acknowledged the importance of VAR in the game: “The technology is there and we need to accept. Many things happen on the pitch and you need to verify and check. We deserve the credit. Tottenham are doing fantastic, but tonight we were the better team.”
Tottenham made a perfect start, with Kulusevski finding the net in the sixth minute with a deflected shot. However, they were fortunate not to be reduced to ten men when Udogie only received a yellow card for a reckless two-footed tackle on Raheem Sterling.
Both Sterling and Tottenham’s Son Heung-min had goals disallowed by VAR, intensifying the already heated match. Romero momentarily escaped a red card for kicking out at Levi Colwill but was eventually sent off in the 33rd minute.
Chelsea’s equalizer came from Palmer’s penalty after VAR reviewed Romero’s challenge on Enzo Fernandez just before Moises Caicedo’s shot. The defender was dismissed for his reckless studs-up follow-through on the Chelsea midfielder’s shin.
Udogie, who had flirted with red earlier in the game, received his marching orders in the 55th minute for a crude tackle on Sterling. This allowed Chelsea to launch an onslaught on Tottenham’s high defensive line and ultimately seal the victory in the 75th minute with Jackson converting Sterling’s cross.
Despite their commendable resilience, Tottenham’s efforts fell short. Eric Dier had a goal ruled out for offside by VAR, and Rodrigo Bentancur’s header narrowly missed the target. In stoppage time, Jackson added insult to injury, scoring his third goal from Conor Gallagher’s cross and condemning Tottenham to a rare defeat.