How did our players find the VAR experience?

Martin Atkinson consulted the VAR in our Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea
Martin Atkinson consulted the VAR in our Carabao Cup semi-final against Chelsea

We played using the video assistant referee system for the first time in our Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Chelsea on Wednesday.

Referee Martin Atkinson used VAR in each half to determine whether each side should have been awarded a penalty. 

How did our players find the system? Calum Chambers and Danny Welbeck spoke about it after the match. Here’s what they said:

Chambers on how pleased the team are with the result…
I’m very pleased, I think it’s a good result. We were strong at the back and it was a good defensive display. The boys dug in and it’s a good result for us.

Welbeck on the VAR referral…
I didn’t know the VAR referral wasn’t for that incident - I knew I cleanly got the ball so I wasn’t worried at all.

Welbeck on if he sensed the referee was talking to anyone during the delay…
Yeah, I could see him talking to somebody in his ear, but I knew that I got the ball clearly, so I wasn’t worried.

Chambers on if he was aware of the VAR delay…
Yeah, as Danny said, you’re aware if you see them talking in their ear. I think we’ll get used to it. 

Chambers on if Arsenal showed some of the grit that was lacking at the weekend…
Yeah, as you said, we showed grit today. We dug in deep and it was a good defensive display from the whole team. That’s the pleasing thing to come out of tonight.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles in action against Chelsea

Welbeck on similarities to the league 0-0 at Stamford Bridge…
Yeah, it’s down to the manager who plays the game and whatever tactics he uses going in to each game. I know once I get onto the pitch, you just want to give 100 per cent. Today we put in a great defensive performance. We could have nicked a goal or two but we’ll look forward to the second leg now. First of all we’ve got the Premier League game at the weekend.

Welbeck on if the second leg will be more open…
We’ll see how it goes.

Chambers on Arsenal and Chelsea only being separated by one penalty shoot-out in four games…
Yeah. We’ve played Chelsea a lot recently. We know how they play and they probably know how we play, so we’ve got to be ready for it. It’s always a tough game. Tonight we were ready for it, we were up for the fight and we’ve got to go into the second leg like that as well.

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