Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino slams VAR, calls it a 'nightmare' after FA Cup win over Swansea

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Pochettino is against VAR.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino branded the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system that will be used at the World Cup this summer a ‘nightmare’ after his side were involved in another stop-start FA Cup tie.

Spurs cruised into the semi-finals with a 3-0 win at Swansea with Christian Eriksen scoring twice to make light of Harry Kane‘s absence through injury.

But that didn’t prevent Pochettino from criticising the use of technology as a lengthy delay followed a decision to rule out a Son Heung-Min strike for offside with Spurs leading 1-0.

“It’s a nightmare. I feel so sorry for the people trying to use that system,” said Pochettino.

“I think I prefer it when the ref and assistant make mistakes than to wait three or four minutes for things.”

VAR 2

Spurs have had to cope with more VAR controversy than most sides in England as their 6-1 5th round replay over Rochdale was littered with controversial video reviews.

On Friday, FIFA president Gianni Infantino gave the official green light for VAR to be used at the World Cup despite lingering doubts over its implementation.

The technology has been used widely in leading European leagues in Germany and Italy this season, but has been limited to a series of trials in Cup games in England.

“We now need to see the reality of how it is going to affect the staff on the touchline and the officials,” added Pochettino.

“It is so complex, but the worst thing for me is the effect for the fan. It is going to be a massive problem for the future.

“We will see what happens at the World Cup.”

No more Wembley woe

Christian Eriksen 1

Victory in Wales moved Spurs to within two games of capping an impressive four years of progress under Pochettino with a first trophy since 2008.

And both the semi-final and possible final will be at the club’s temporary home Wembley, where Spurs have lost just three of 24 games this season.

That record contrasts sharply with Tottenham’s record at the national stadium last season, where they lost 4-2 to Chelsea in the FA Cup semi-finals and to Bayer Leverkusen and Monaco in the Champions League.

And Pochettino now believes home comforts could give Spurs an upper hand.

“Seven months ago, everyone said playing there at Wembley horrendous,” said Pochettino.

“That was the feeling and the perception, but it has changed. We feel comfortable there and so do the fans.”

Eriksen took his tally to eight goals in 10 games against Swansea as he struck twice from outside the box either side of just Erik Lamela’s second goal in 18 injury-ravaged months.

“Eriksen was fantastic, so important for us,” added Pochettino.

“Every season he takes one step up, today he was fantastic. He is so consistent.”

Swansea had lost just twice in 15 previous games since Carlos Carvalhal’s arrival as manager.

But the Portuguese had no complaints after seeing his side outclassed.

“I am not disappointed as they have a very good side,” said Carvalhal, who took Swansea to the last eight for the first time since 1964.

“I said before to achieve something, we must be at our best and they must be not so good. We know there is a gap and that they are better.”

Provided by AFP Sport

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Arsenal draw CSKA Moscow in Europa League, Atletico Madrid face Sporting Lisbon

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London club Arsenal will take on CSKA Moscow after being drawn together in a Europa League quarter-final in Nyon on Friday at a time of strained relations between Britain and Russia.

British Prime Minister Theresa May this week expelled 23 Russian diplomats over the nerve agent poisoning of a former spy, and said British royals and ministers would not attend the World Cup in Russia this year.

There was an all Iberian cast in another eye-catching quarter-final draw as capital outfits Atletico Madrid, who many see as the main pretenders to the title, drew Sporting Lisbon.

Former European champions Marseille will take on rising German force RB Leipzig, while exciting Italian outfit Lazio face the draw’s minnows Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg, who knocked out Borussia Dortmund in the last round.

All the matches are played on the same day with the first leg coming on April 5 and the return a week later on April 12.

Provided by AFP Sport

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Fernando Torres on target as Atletico Madrid thrash Lokomotiv Moscow to reach Europa League quarter-finals

David Cooper 15/03/2018
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In fine form: Fernando Torres (l)

Fernando Torres scored twice as Atletico Madrid  cruised to a 5-1 Europa League thrashing of Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia on Thursday to complete a resounding last-16 victory.

Diego Simeone’s side wrapped up an 8-1 win on aggregate to book a place in Friday’s quarter-final draw.

Leading 3-0 from last week’s first leg, Angel Correa extended the advantage early on before Maciej Rybus levelled on the night for Russian league leaders Lokomotiv.

But the La Liga title challengers opened up in the second half, with Saul Niguez scoring their fifth of the tie before Torres’ quickfire double.

The striker slotted in his first European goal of the season from the penalty spot in the 65th minute, before slotting home unmarked just five minutes later.

Antoine Griezmann came off the bench to round off the scoring in style, with the Frenchman dinking a delicious lob into the far top corner from Correa’s lay-off after the Argentinian had created the chance by flicking the ball over a defender’s head.

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