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Huge VAR decision made for Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final tie vs Middlesbrough as Pochettino offers ‘clever’ verdict



(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

VAR will not be in operation for any of the Carabao Cup semi-final ties, it has been confirmed.

Usually, VAR comes into effect at the semi-final stage of the competition, however due to Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium not having the technology installed, it has been decided none of the matches between Boro and Chelsea, and Liverpool and Fulham will have VAR in operation.

This will see Sam Barrott and his team on the night – Simon Bennett and Daniel Robathan (Assistant Referees) and Darren England (Fourth Official) take full control of the semi-final first leg on Teesside on Tuesday.

What has the EFL said?

A statement read: “Given the system is not installed at one of the participating semi-finalist Clubs and to maintain fairness and consistency, VAR technology will not be used in the Carabao Cup semi-final stage this season.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

“This is in line with previous rounds of this season’s competition when at some grounds, but not all, VAR has been available.

“VAR is installed at Wembley Stadium and as per our previous commitment VAR will be used in February’s final.”

How has Mauricio Pochettino to VAR not being in operation for the Carabao Cup semi-final tie?

The 51-year-old was not concerned with the decision, however told his Chelsea players to be ‘cautious’ and ‘clever’.

Pochettino told reporters: “That is another thing we need to be careful of because our normal attitude is to play with VAR. We need to be cautious of that.”

He added: “No, no worry. It’s only that we need to think. Also to be in a different way to our approach. We need change. There is no VAR that we can check and the referee will decide. It is a different game.

“I don’t say that it is better or worse but we need to be clever in this way.”