Gallagher: I’ve never played in a game like it! | News | Official Site

Conor Gallagher has reflected on a crazy night in north London which at times left him lost for words, discussing the impact on the players of long pauses in play for VAR checks and why it was Chelsea’s belief which carried us through them to victory over Tottenham.

The number of incidents throughout our 4-1 London derby win at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium almost defied belief, with five disallowed goals, two red cards and several other moments requiring a long look by the officials in and outside the ground to sort out.

It was certainly something Conor Gallagher had never experienced before in his career, and a difficult game for him to summarise, but looking back on the win he can focus on the only part which mattered to him – his overwhelming joy at a timely victory and an important three points.

‘It was the weirdest game I’ve played in I think,’ said Gallagher. ‘It was the craziest game, but in the end I’m buzzing with the win, which was all we needed. So it was a strange game but a good one.

‘It was crazy. Honestly, I didn’t know what was going on, but at the end of the day it’s three points and we move on.

‘It’s a massive win. We’ve got a tough run of games so we’re staying focused and moving on to the next one, which is going to be massive again. So we’re looking forward to getting back to work and preparing for the next game.’

Both of the red cards went to Tottenham players, the first to Cristian Romero when Moises Caicedo’s equaliser was ruled out for an offside but Cole Palmer was then given the chance to level the scores from the penalty spot due to a high challenge on Enzo Fernandez in the box.

Destiny Udogie then joined him in an early departure after receiving his second booking of the game, and Gallagher believes the most important thing was that the officials got the decisions right, no matter how long the checks took, and felt on first viewing that Udogie could even have got a straight red for the challenge on Raheem Sterling which resulted in his first yellow card.

‘They made a couple of bad tackles,’ he added. ‘At the time I felt the one before, from Udogie on Sterling, could have been a red card as well. I haven’t seen it back, but I thought it looked like it was a bad tackle.

‘The first one that was given was a deserved red card and we took advantage and the game went from strange to even stranger. I don’t even know how to word it! But it went in our favour and we managed to get the win.

‘The checks were very long and I suppose they need to be, because the refs need to get the decisions right. I haven’t seen all the replays but it felt to me on the pitch like they did. It’s strange for players and frustrating at times, because players can stiffen up a bit when we’re just waiting around, but VAR is part of the game and getting the right decisions is important, because that can be the difference between getting three points and no points.’

Those sending offs resulted in a numerical advantage for the Blues, but Tottenham’s unorthodox response of packing players into defence while maintaining a very high back line took some time to figure out, before we managed to break their resolve for Nicolas Jackson to net three times and claim the matchball and the points.

‘It was something we haven’t really worked on, playing against a line of six or seven defenders staying on the halfway line. We were offside a lot, but that’s going to happen and eventually we got in a few times and got our goals. That’s what we had to do and we managed to do it.

‘I felt like they did well with the nine men and they did make it difficult for us. But we all believed that eventually one of those balls in behind was going to be onside and we were going to get a goal from it. We did in the end, and we managed to get a couple more as well after that.’

Hopefully Gallagher and his Chelsea team-mates can carry that belief into our next fixture, when we take on another of the Premier League’s pacesetters Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

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